#19 MSSU Outlasts Riverhawks. 85-79
RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:
Joplin, Mo. – The 19 th -ranked Missouri Southern men’s basketball team held on in a close one, 85-79 over visiting Northeastern State today on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (9-1, 2-0 MIAA) had five in double-figures, led by 23 points and nine rebounds from Kinzer Lambert. Cam Martin scored 22, while Braelon Walker and Reggie Tharphad 14 and 10 points, respectively. Elyjah Clark was scoreless, late into the second half, but finished with a double-double, scoring 12 and pulling down 10 rebounds.
NSU (5-4, 0-2 MIAA) was led by 19 points from Caleb Smith.
Southern led 15-9 at the 15-minute mark of the first half, but three-straight forced turnovers by the Lions, led to three-straight fast-break buckets from Walker and forced a timeout for the RiverHawks with the Lions leading 21-9 with 13:33 left in the half.
NSU, however, scored ten-straight points to get within two (21-19) with 9:52 to go, but a three from Parker Jennings stopped the run the next trip down. The Lions’ lead was one (26-25) with 7:29 left, but a layup from Tharp with 4:51 left made the score 35-27 and a three from Tharp with 2:39 to go pushed the lead to 11 (42-31). A late jumper from NSU made the score 45-33, Lions at the half.
A bucket from Martin with 18:44 left in the second half made the score 47-37, but a 7-2 run from the RiverHawks cut the lead to five (49-45) with 16:25 left. A three from NSU cut the Lions’ lead to four (53-49) with 14 to go, but a three from Lambert with 12:41 left pushed the lead back to nine (58-49) with 12:41 left.
The Southern lead was three (61-58) with just under 11 left, but back-to-back three’s from Lambert pushed the lead back to nine at 67-58 with 9:42 left. Another three from Lambert, this one as the shot clock was expiring, gave the Lions a 73-64 lead with 5:41 left.
The Southern lead was four (73-69) with 3:37 left, but free throws from Walker and a layup a three from Clark made the lead 80-71 with 1:37 left. After the RiverHawks cut the lead back to four, free throws from Clark down the stretch sealed the win.
The Lions shot 49 percent from the field and forced 10 turnovers, scoring 16 points off of the miscues. The Lions had eight fast-break points in the game.
The Lions will be back in action on December 19 as Southern plays host to Upper Iowa. Tip off from the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 12 pm.
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