Lions’ comeback falls short against #19 Missouri Western

Missouri Southern fell to the Griffons 88-86 on Saturday


JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern men’s basketball team got 33 points from Cam Martin, but a last-second shot from Missouri Western lifted the No. 19 ranked Griffons over the Lions 88-86 on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Southern (4-3, 4-3 MIAA) was led by Martin’s 33 points and seven rebounds. Stan Scott had a career-high 20 points on 8-of-13 from the field, while RJ Smith had nine points and nine rebounds. Winston Dessesow scored eight points and dished out seven assists, while Christian Bundy scored six and had three blocks and three assists.

Western (5-1, 5-1 MIAA) had four score in double-figures, led by 27 points from Tyrell Carroll.

Southern jumped out to a 7-2 lead at the first media timeout after a three from Smith, but the Griffons clawed back and took a 9-7 lead after a three-point play from Carroll with 13:27 to go in the half.

A layup from Dessesow followed by a turnaround jumper from Martin gave the Lions an 11-9 lead with 12:37 to go and a running layup from Scott the next trip down pushed it to four (13-9).

The teams traded baskets, but an 8-0 run by the Lions capped by a basket from Bundy with 6:11 left in the half gave the Lions a 31-24 lead. After a quick run from the Griffons, a dunk from Scott with 4:10 to go in the half gave Southern a 33-30 lead and a three from Kyle Younge off a pass from Scott made the score 36-32 Lions with 3:20 to go.

A layup from Western with just under two minutes to go gave the Griffons the lead back at 40-38 and Western took a 46-38 lead into the locker room.

Southern started the half on a 4-0 run, prompting a Western timeout. The Griffons responded and a three with 15 minutes left gave Western a 53-42 lead. Three free throws from Lawson Jenkins, followed by a block from Bundy the next trip down and a three-point play from Scott and the Lions cut the lead to five (53-48) with 14:19 left.

A three from Martin tied the game at 59 with just more than ten on the clock and a fast-break bucket from Scott off an assist from Dessesow gave the Lions a 61-59 lead with 10:03 to go. The two teams traded baskets and leads down the stretch and a three from the Griffons with a minute left put Western up 86-84.

After a turnover, Dessesow stole the inbounds pass and knocked home a layup to tie the game at 86 with 27 seconds to go. The Griffons, however, hit what proved to be the game-winning jumper. Southern would get a last-second shot off, but it would not fall.

The Lions shot 47 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free-throw line going 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. The Lions scored 20 points off of 16 forced turnovers.

The Lions will be off for the holidays and will be back in action on January 9 when Southern travels to Pittsburg State for a 3:30 pm tip off.