#19 MSSU preps for MIAA opener vs. UCO

The Lions have won 7 straight games
#19 MSSU preps for MIAA opener vs. UCO


The 19th-ranked Missouri Southern Men’s Basketball Team will open up MIAA play tomorrow night as the Lions play host to Central Oklahoma. Tip off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 7:30 pm.

Game Information

Teams: (RV/19) Missouri Southern (7-1) vs. Central Oklahoma (5-2)
Date: December 6, 2018
Tip-Off: 7:30 PM
Location: Joplin, Mo
Site: Robert Corn Court/Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: Southern leads 8-4
Coaches: Jeff Boschee (83-46 overall/at MSSU – 5th year). Tom Hankins (58-38 overall/at UCO – 4th year)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: Mike McClure – Play by play – Fox Sports Joplin – 101.3, AM 1560 KXMS 88.7 FM
Internet Audio: http://www.mssulions.com
Live Video: http://www.themiaanetwork.com/mssulions
Live Stats: https://mssulions.com/sidearmstats/mbball/summary
Lions on Facebook: Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssumensbball

The Series

Southern holds an 8-4 advantage in this relatively short series between the two teams. The first time the two teams played was in 1973 with Central Oklahoma taking that game in Joplin. The two teams didn’t play again until 1991, then played twice more until 2013 when UCO joined the MIAA. Southern has won the past six games in a row. The Lions are 4-2 at home, 2-2 on the road and 2-0 in neutral site games.

NCAA Team Stat Leaders

The Lions, as a team, rank third in total rebounds per game and scoring, while raning fourth in defensive rebounds per game, fifth in assist to turnover ratio, sixth in scoring and seventh in rebound margin. The Team ranks 18th in both fewest turnovers and fewest turnovers per game, while ranking 15th in assists per game, 19th in three point defense, 24th in field goal percentage and 31st in offensive rebounds per game.

NCAA Individual Stat Leaders

Reggie Tharp ranks third nationally in assist to turnover ratio, while Cam Martin is third in field goal percentage, 8th in scoring, 19th in double-doubles, 38th in total field goals and 45th in defensive rebounds per game.

MIAA Team Stat Leaders

The Lions, as a team, lead the MIAA in assists, defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds, rebound margin, scoring and total rebounds. The team ranks second in assist to turnover ratio, fewest turnovers, field goal percentage, scoring margin and three point field goals per game, while ranking third in field goal defense, and fewest turnovers per game.

MIAA Individual Stat Leaders

Cam Martin leads the MIAA in field goal percentage, while Reggie Tharp leads in assist to turnover ratio and Elyjah Clark leads in minutes per game. Martin ranks second in scoring and double-doubles, while ranking third in rebounds. Tharp is third in steals.

Preseason No. 1

The Lions were picked number one in the MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll this season.

Strength of Schedule

Southern currently is ranked 4th in the Massey Division II College Basketball Ratings. The Lions have the second-best strength of schedule in Division II as far as future opponents remaining, meaning the Lions have the second-toughest schedule in D2.

Streak Stopper

Coming into the season Elyjah Clark had made a three pointer in 47-straight games, dating back to his freshman season. Clark, however, missed out on a three in the first game of the year, but has made a three in each game since, taking his current streak to seven.

Cam You Score A Lot?

Cam Martin tied a MSSU single-game record with 49 points at Minnesota State. The mark tied Carl Tyler from 1984. Coincidently, in his first game as a Lion, former guard CJ Carr scored 47 points against the same Minnesota State team two years ago.

National Ranking

The Lions are receiving votes in the NABC Poll and are ranked 19th in the Media Poll. In the history of the NABC Poll, the Lions have been ranked 56 times, including 23 consecutive weeks. The team has been No. 1 once (in the 2011 season).

Coach of the Year

Jeff Boschee was named the 2018 MIAA Coach of the Year. Boschee has coached the Lions to a 20-win season for the second time in his four-year career. Last year, the Lions were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll and the Lions finished the season second overall with two wins over regular-season MIAA Champ Northwest Missouri.

Three-Point Streak

The Lions failed to make a three-pointer at Arkansas Tech in their match-up in 2012-13. It was the first time in 403 games that Southern had failed to hit a three pointer, dating back to Jan. 20, 1999 against Missouri S&T. The Lions have had a three in 182-straight games since Arkansas Tech in 2012-13.

Dunk You Very Much

The Lions had nine dunks in the game against Baptist Bible on 11/29.

Records Abound

The Lions broke or tied four school records in the 137-50 win over Baptist Bible. Southern tied the school record for points in a game (137) and field goal attempts (95), while breaking the records for rebounds (77) and assists (37).

Three’s Company

The Lions shattered the previous MSSU school record for three pointers in a game against Randall last year as Southern made 20 three pointers against the Saints. The previous record of 15 was set in 2003 against St. Gregory’s.

Home Sweet Home

Missouri Southern can count on some of the best fan support in Division II. This season, the Lions rank 14th nationally in home attendance, averaging 1,217 fans per game. That number is fourth in the MIAA.

Holy Points Batman

The Lions scored 137 points against Baptist Bible to tie a school record. It was the most points since the scored 110 last year against Randall were the most the team has scored since they scored 113 against Southwest Baptist in 2014.

Super Tuesday

The Lions are 2-0 on Tuesday’s this year and a perfect 8-0 in Jeff Boschee ‘s tenure.

Corndogs Jackie

Southern is averaging 95 points per game this season and the Lions have topped the century mark three times, including the last two games.

Overtime’s A Charm

For the third-straight time, the Lions and Minnesota State needed overtime to settle the score. The Lions won 100-98 this year and have won two of the three overtime games in the last three years between the two teams.

Records Watch

Sophomore Elyjah Clark had the Missouri Southern single-season record for three pointers as a freshman with 89 and broke that record last year with 110. Clark has 223 career threes and is well over three-quarters to the career record of 265 set by Austin Wright. He needs just two three’s to move into 2nd place all-time in front of Skyler Bowlin.

Reachin’ A Grand

Elyjah Clark went over 1,000 points in his career with 18 points against Minnesota-Crookston in the Puerto Rico Tournament. He currently has 1,041 in his career and is the 21st person in MSSU history to crack the 1,000 point plateau.

Hard-Workin’ Man

Elyjah Clark ranks 66th nationally and leads the MIAA in minutes per game.

Elyjah For Three

Clark has the top-two single-season three-point totals in MSSU history and his 223 threes made in his two-plus year career rank third, just one behind Skyler Bowlin. His career three-point percentage of .422 is second-best all-time, while he also tied the single-game record for three’s made with nine. He has the season and career record for three pointers per game, while also holding the MSSU season and career record for consecutive games with a three (47).

Lions On The Radio

The majority of the Lions games this season can be heard on the Missouri Southern Radio Network in Joplin. Southern is partnering with Fox Sports Joplin, the Lions can be heard on 101.3 FM, 101.7 FM, 88.7 FM and AM 1560.

Lions on TV

All Missouri Southern conference home games will be brought to you live this season courtesy of KGCS TV in Joplin. Fans can catch the action over the air live on Digital Channel 22 as well as on local cable systems.

Up Next

The Lions will continue the home stand and play host to Northeastern State on Saturday at 3:30 pm inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.