Joplin, Mo. – The 12th-ranked Missouri Southern men’s basketball team got off to a hot start and the Lions cruised to a 79-49 victory over visiting Newman on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The 6-0 start in conference play for Southern (13-2, 6-0 MIAA) is the best start in conference play in program history.
Cam Martin had 18 points and nine rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. He added three assists and two blocks. Kinzer Lambert had 12 points, while Parker Jennings scored 11 on 4-of-6 from the field. Jennings had six boards, while Reggie Tharp had seven assists and five rebounds.
Newman (7-9, 1-6 MIAA) was led in scoring by Marshawn Blackmon with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Southern started out on fire as Martin scored the game’s first eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. The Lions led 16-4 after a layup from Lambert with 16:08 to go in the first half, and a reverse layup from Lambert off of an assist from Martin with 14:25 to go pushed the lead to 16 (20-4).
A layup from Tharp with 7:18 on the clock put the Southern lead at 21 (30-9), while a three from Clark with 3:46 to go made the Lions’ lead 37-13. A three from Jennings with two to go pushed the lead to 42-15, while the Jets scored four late points to make the halftime score 42-19 Lions.
A pair of freebies from Martin gave Southern a 48-21 lead with 16:21 to go, while a layup from Martin with 15:05 to go pushed the lead to 27 (52-25). A free throw from Ted Brown gave the Lions a 63-35 lead with nine minutes left, and a dunk from Brown the next trip down made the score 65-35. A late jumper from Kyle Younge provided the final points for the Lions.
The Lions shot 47 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line, while out rebounding the Jets 44-32. Southern had a 44-20 advantage in the paint, while holding a 15-6 lead in second-chance points.
The Lions will be back in action this Thursday as Southern travels to Lincoln University. Tip off is slated for 7:30 pm from Jason Gym.