Men’s basketball plays host to Central Missouri

Press Release MSSU:

The Missouri Southern men’s basketball program will look to remain in first place as the Lions will play host to the Central Missouri Mules this Saturday. Tip off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 3 pm.

Game Information

Teams: Missouri Southern (14-6, 7-3 MIAA) vs. Central Missouri (9-11, 4-7 MIAA)

Date : Saturday, Jan 31, 2015
Tip-Off: 3:00 pm
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site:Robert Corn Court/Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: Central leads series 34-22
Coaches: Jeff Boschee (14-6 overall/at MSSU). Doug Karleskint (16-4 at UCM/106-38 overall)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 KBTN – Mike McClure – Play-by-play
Internet Audio:
Live Stats:
Lions on Facebook:
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssumensbball

A look at the coaches: Jeff Boschee, MSSU – Jeff Boschee is in his first season as the head coach of the Missouri Southern basketball program after serving four seasons as an assistant and associate head coach. He was named the head coach of the Lions on July 1, 2014. Since Boschee arrived at Southern, the Lions have gone 100-40, made four consecutive MIAA tournaments and had trips to three of the last four NCAA Division II postseason tournaments, while claiming the 2010-11 MIAA regular season championship, and the 2013-14 post-season tournament championship. The 2010-11 team set the MIAA record for conference wins in a season with 19. Under Boschee’s leadership, former Lion Skyler Bowlin was the MIAA’s Player and Defender of the Year in 2011. He was a first-team All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American selection, being named to three different All-America teams. He was also the Region Player of the Year and a finalist for the National Player of th e Year. Bowlin signed a professional contract to play basketball in the German Pro League after completing his eligibility and has since moved on to playing in Denmark.

The University of Central Missouri announced that Doug Karleskint has been hired as the 24th head men’s basketball coach in the 109-year history of the program. Karleskint has compiled a 90-34 record in four seasons as the head coach at Arkansas Tech. His Wonder Boy teams captured four straight conference championships and made four appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012. He coached 11 all-conference performers during his tenure at Arkansas Tech, including one Great American Conference (GAC) Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and an All-American. Prior to his time as head coach, Karleskint served as the top assistant for the Wonder Boys in 2009-10 when the team went 30-2, won the Gulf South Conference title and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The Series – Central leads the series 34-22 and the Mules have won five of the last eight games. The Lions are 14-11 vs. UCM at home and 8-18 on the road. Central has won all five of the neutral site battles between the two clubs. The Lions are 0-5 all-time against the Mules in MIAA Tournament games and have played Central Missouri once in the NCAA Tournament.

Defending Champs – The Lions won the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament in Kansas City last year, defeating Nebraska-Kearney in the opener. The Lions beat Northwest Missouri in game two and won against Central Oklahoma in the Tournament Championship.

Player of the Week – Taevaunn Prince was named the MIAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week this week. Prince averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds in helping the Lions to wins over Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western.

Record Breakers – Junior shooting guard Austin Wright set two records for the Lions last year, breaking the single-season three point percentage mark (.493) and he also is the current career-leader in that category (.464).

Record Breakers II – Wright is climbing the charts in career three pointers made at MSSU. He moved into the top five last week and currently sits in fourth at 154 career treys. He needs 71 to break Skyler Bowlin’s record of 224.

Record Breakers III – Wright broke the MSSU single-game three point record against Northeastern State when the junior hit nine as part of 28 points in the Lions’ 90-54 win.

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 73-straight games since Arkansas Tech in 2012-13.

Stingy Defense – The Lions have held their opponents to 71 points or under in 11 of their last 15 games. Against Benedictine, Southern held the Ravens to 48 points, nearly 20 points below the season average for the No. 4 ranked team in the NAIA. The total is the lowest opponent output since the Lions held Central Bible to 39 points in 2012.

Double-Double This Taevaunn Prince has six double-double’s this season. Against Emporia State, both Prince and Lane Barlow had a double-double each.

Big Game Tae – In the last 11 games, Taevaunn Prince is averaging 17.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, while shooting 48% from the field and 84% from the free-throw line.

Heatin Up – Over the last 11 games, the Lions have gone 9-2. In that time, they’re out scoring their opponents by a margin of 12.4, while shooting 45 percent from the field, 37 percent from long range and 77 percent from the free throw line. They are also out rebounding their opponents by a margin of 4.7 and making 7.6 3’s per game.

Perfect When – The Lions are perfect this year when they do the following things: score 90+ (4-0), have more assists (8-0) and out shoot the opponent (12-0).

NCAA Stat Leaders – The Lions, as a team, rank 11th nationally in free throw attempts, while ranking 6th in free throws made. They rank 21st in free throw percentage and 22nd in three point defense. Individually, Austin Wright ranks 8th nationally in three point percentage, while ranking 22nd in total threes and 49th in threes/game.Greg Renfroe ranks 22nd in total blocks and 28th in blocks per game, while Taevaun Prince ranks 20th in free throws made and 28th in free throw attempts.

MIAA Stat Leaders – As a team, the Lions lead the MIAA in free throw percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted and three point defense. The team ranks second in defensive rebounds, while ranking third in offensive rebounds and scoring offense. Individually, Renfroe leads the league in total blocks and blocks per game, while Prince leads the league in free throws made and attempted. Austin Wright leads the league in three point percentage, while ranking second in both total threes and threes/game.

Up Next – Southern will be back in action a week from Saturday when they travel to Central Missouri to take on the Mules on Feb. 7. Tip off is slated for 3:30 pm.