Joplin, Mo. — The Missouri Southern men’s basketball team used a pair of runs in each half and defeated the visiting Northwest Missouri Bearcats 77-65 on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (12-6, 6-3 MIAA) was led offensively by Taevaunn Prince as the junior went 7-17 from the field and 11-12 from the free throw line. He added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Austin Wright scored 13 on 3-6 from long range, whileCameron Cornelius and Lane Barlow scored 11 each.
Northwest (13-5, 6-4 MIAA) was led by 15 points from Conner Crooker, while Lyle Harris added 14.
A layup from Cameron Cornelius with 14:31 left in the first half gave the Lions a 10-4 lead early on. The game was tied at 12 with 11:23 to go after a pair of freebies for Northwest, and the Bearcats went on a 8-3 run to go up 20-15 and Northwest led by six (24-18) with 3:09 to go in the half.
A 5-0 run for the Lions cut the lead to just one (24-23), and Southern ended the half on a 13-2 run over the final 3:09 to go into the locker room up 31-26.
Prince had 13 points and five rebounds to lead the Lions at the half.
The Bearcats cut the Lions’ lead to two (34-32) at 18:03, but a free throw from Prince with 15:58 left pushed the Southern advantage to eight (42-34). Both teams traded baskets until the ten-minute mark when a pair of freebies from Taylor Luster put the Lions up nine (49-40). A three-point play from Brandon Pines with 8:35 gave the Lions a 54-42 lead and a layup from Charlie Brown made the score 60-44 with 6:11 to go.
A three from Austin Wright with just under four to go pushed the lead to 65-50, and a pair of freebies from Wright gave the Lions a 73-60 lead with 1:45 to go.
The Lions out rebounded Northwest 38-36 and had a 21-11 advantage in second-chance points, scoring on nearly every offensive rebound the team had (10).
Southern will be back in action on this Saturday when the Lions travel to Missouri Western. Tip off is slated for 3:30 pm in St. Joseph.