Southern’s 7 game win streak is snapped

#10 Lions fall to Central Missouri 54-52
Lions fall 54-52 to Central Missouri

FULL RELEASE BY MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Warrensburg, Mo. – The 10th-ranked Missouri Southern men’s basketball team scored a season-low 52 points and the Lions fell on the road at Central Missouri 54-52 inside the Multipurpose building.

Southern (14-3, 7-1MIAA) was cold from the floor today, shooting 35 percent from the field and 17 percent from long-range, but it was it was late free-throw woes that did in the Lions.

Cam Martin scored 16 points, while Reggie Tharp added nine points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Christian Bundy scored seven points off the bench, adding four boards, while Elyjah ClarkBraelon Walker and Parker Jennings had six points each.

Central (7-9, 2-5 MIAA) was led by Koray Gilbert with 14 points as he was one of three Mules with double-figure points.

The game was tied at three early on when the Lions went on a 7-0 run to go up 10-3 after a three from Walker with 13:41 to go in the first half. The Mules, however, answered back with a 11-0 run of their own to go up 14-10 with 10:53 to go.

A layup from Martin with 8:38 to go put Southern up 16-15, while a bucket from Bundy put the Lions up 18-15 with 6:35 to go in the half. A three from Parker Jennings with five minutes to go put the Lions up 21-17, while another three from Jennings, this one with 2:55 to go made the score 24-22, Southern. Central took a 25-24 lead the next trip down and led 27-24, but a pair of freebies from Clark with a minute to go made the halftime score 27 all.

A pair of free throws from Martin with 16:48 to go in the 2nd half got Southern within one (32-31), but Central went on a 6-0 run and led 38-31 with 15:34 left. Four free throws from the Lions, the first two from Clark, the second two from Bundy got the Lions within one (38-37), while a bucket from Tharp with a little more than 12 to go put the Lions up 39-38.

A tip in from Bundy the next trip down pushed the Southern run to 10-0 as the Lions led 41-38 10:28 left, while an offensive board from Tharp and an ensuing bucket put Southern up 43-39. A three from Walker with 8:08 to go pushed the lead to five (46-41) and capped a 15-3 run, forcing a Mules’ timeout.

The Mules tied it up at 48, but a free throw from Martin gave the Lions a 49-48 lead with just more than three minutes to play. Central went up 52-49, but a free throw from Martin got the Lions within two (52-50) with 1:53 left.

Southern got a defensive stop with a minute to go and got a freebie from Kinzer Lambert to make it 52-51, and after another defensive stop by the Lions, Southern called a timeout with 30 seconds left to set up a play, down by one. Lambert was fouled and sent to the line shooting two, making one to tie it at 52 with 16 seconds to go.

Central got a bucket with 1.2 seconds left to go up 54-52 and the Lions couldn’t convert a last-second shot.

The Lions will be back in action next Saturday as Southern travels to Pittsburg State. Tip off from John Lance Arena is set for 3:30 pm.

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