Men’s basketball plays host to Emporia State Saturday

Press Release MSSU:

The Missouri Southern men’s basketball team will look to go 2-1 in league play when the Lions play host to visiting Emporia State this Saturday. Tip off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 2 pm.

Game Information

Teams: Missouri Southern (7-4, 1-1 MIAA) vs. Emporia State (6-4, 0-2 MIAA)

Date : Saturday, December 20, 2014
Tip-Off: 2:00 pm
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: Southern leads 47-30
Coaches: Jeff Boschee (7-4 overall/at MSSU). Shaun Vandiver (46-49 overall/at ESU)

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 has arrived at Southern, the Lions have gone 93-38, 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 the 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.

Former NBA First Round Draft Pick Shaun Vandiver is the 16th head men’s basketball coach at Emporia State University. He is 46-49 with the Hornets as he enters his fourth season at Emporia State. He led the Hornets to an 18-13 record last season and has increased the win total every year he has been at Emporia State. He spent the previous ten years as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, most recently at Boise State University. He was one of nearly 140 formal candidates for the position.

The Series – Missouri Southern holds a 47-30 advantage in the series with Emporia State. Southern has won 13 of the last 21 and four of the last five. The Lions have a 28-10 record against Emporia in Joplin, and are 18-20 in games played at Emporia. The Southern-Emporia series has produced eight overtime games, including two double overtime thrillers. The Lions have won six of the overtime games. Missouri Southern’s biggest margin of victory was 43 points, 125-82, on Jan. 19, 2002. Emporia State’s biggest victory spread was in 2007, (Jan. 17, 2007) defeating the Lions 105-67 (32 points).

New Coaches – Jeff Boschee along with assistant coach Nick Bradford who was on the staff last season, bring in former Missouri State coach Sam McMahon, as well as former Baker University guard Todd Johnston to round out the coaching staff.

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.

Regional Appearance – The Lions made the program’s fifth-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament last season when the team went to Mankato, Minn. and lost to eventual National Champion Central Missouri in the round of 32. The Lions have been to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons.

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 (.449).

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

Fresh Faces – The Lions have five new players on the roster this year and two more that redshirted last season for the team. Charlie Brown, Terrence Pierce and Andrew Ballock are true freshmen, while Taylor Luster, Bruce Marshall and Taevaunn Prince transfer in from either junior college or four-year institutions. Both Prince and Brandon Pines practiced with Missouri Southern last year, but redshirt ed.

Stingy Defense – The Lions have held their opponents to 71 points or under in five of their last six 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.

Bench Scoring – The Lions’ bench has outscored the opponent’s bench in seven of the eleven games this season. Overall, Southern’s bench has outscored the opponents 337-249.

Perfect When – The Lions are perfect this year when they do the following things: score 90+ (3-0), allow 69 or fewer (4-0), make and attempt more free-throws (5-0), have more assists (4-0) and out shoot the opponents (6-0).

NCAA Stat Leaders – The Lions, as a team, rank eighth in free-throws attempted and third in free-throws made, while ranking 46th in three’s made and 49th in total rebounds. Individually, Austin Wright ranks 32nd in threes made, while Greg Renfroe ranks 42nd in total blocks. Lane Barlow ranks 38th in total steals and Cameron Cornelius ranks 33rd in total minutes.

MIAA Stat Leaders – The Lions, as a team, rank second in both free-throw attempts and free-throws made, while ranking third in both total blocks and rebounds, while ranking fifth in three’s made. Individually, Renfroe leads the MIAA in total blocks, while ranking second in offensive rebounds and third in blocks per game. Taevaunn Prince ranks third in free-throws made, while Cornelius ranks fourth in minutes and Barlow is fourth in steals.

Up Next – Southern will be off for Christmas Break, but will get back in action on Jan. 3 when the Lions travel to Fort Hays State.