#19 MSSU wins 8th straight, drilling UCO in MIAA opener

#19 MSSU wins 8th straight, drilling UCO in MIAA opener


Joplin, Mo. – Elyjah Clark and Cam Martin both scored over 20 and the 19 th ranked Lions shot 72 percent from the field, leading the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team over Central Oklahoma 96-68 tonight in front of more than 1,700 fans at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Southern (8-1, 1-0 MIAA) got 23 points and 12 rebounds from Cam Martin as he went 10-of-13 from the field. Clark had 26 points and six rebounds, going 10-of-16 from the field and 5-of-9 from long-range. Clark’s five three’s put him in front of Skyler Bowlin for second-place all-time in MSSU history. Clark now has 228 in his career.

Braelon Walker and Kinzer Lambert scored 12 each, while Parker Jennings scored 11 off the bench, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from the three-point line.

Central Oklahoma (5-3, 0-1 MIAA) got 24 points from Adarius Avery and 17 from Ashford Golden.

The two teams traded points early, before the Bronchos took a 17-13 lead with 11:17 left in the first half. Back-to-back-to-back buckets from Cam Martin, including an and-one and a dunk put the Lions on top 23-19 with 8:17 left in the half. A fast-break layup, with the ensuing free throw from Clark, after a turnover gave the Lions a 26-19 lead with just under eight minutes left.

The run reached 13-0 after a three pointer from Clark from about 27 feet out made the score 29-19 and a running layup from Tharp the next trip down pushed the run to 15-0. Another three from Clark capped the run at 18-0 and made the score 34-19, before a pair of free throws ended the streak. Southern ended the half on a 31-8 run and led 44-25 at the break.

A beautiful pass from Lambert to Martin with 18:17 to go in the half gave the Lions a 48-27 lead, while dunks from Martin and five quick points from Lambert pushed the Lions’ lead to 57-33 with 14:52 left in the half.

A running layup from Tharp with 8:45 left gave the Lions a 74-46 lead and a streaking left-handed put in from Parker Jennings, as well as a three from Jennings the next trip down made the score 79-58 with 7:03 left to go.

A late three from Jadis White pushed the lead back to 30 before a final bucket from UCO made the final outcome 96-68.

The Lions shot 23 percent from the field in the game and 72 percent in the second half. Southern made 16 three-pointers and shot 55 percent from long-range. The Lions out rebounded the Bronchos 37-26 in the game.

Southern will be back in action this Saturday as the Lions play host to Northeastern State. Tip off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 3:30 pm.