Joplin, Mo. – Austin Wright scored 24 points, whileTaevaunn Prince added 17 and the Missouri Southern men’s basketball program took out visiting Central Oklahoma 81-66 tonight in front of more than 1,700 fans on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (4-3, 1-0 MIAA) was led by Wright’s 8-10 effort from the field. He went 7-8 from long-range, running his career three-point total to 199. Prince added 17 points and nine rebounds, while DJ Feitl had 13 points on the night.
UCO (4-3, 0-1 MIAA) had four score in double-figures, led by 17 points from Kendahl Amerson.
A three pointer from Wright with 16:05 left in the first half gave the Lions a 13-8 lead early on. A three fromTaylor Luster with 15:19 left pushed the Southern lead to seven (16-9), but a three from the Bronchos’ Jordan London tied the game at 18 with 10:10 left.
The Lions, however, went on a 15-6 run over the next five minutes and a pair of free throws from Luster pushed the Lions’ lead back to nine (33-24) with 5:12 left in the half. Southern would take a 37-30 lead into the locker room.
Wright led the Lions with 11 points in the half on 4-5 shooting and 3-3 from long-range.
A layup from Prince with 16:24 left in the second half pushed the Lions’ lead to 11 (46-35), but a bucket from the Bronchos’ Amerson cut the Southern lead to six (58-52) with 11:27 to go.
Another layup from Prince, this time with 3:12 to go in the half, pushed the Lions’ lead to 13 (76-13) and a bucket from Prince with 1:22 left provided the final Lions’ bucket.
Southern shot 53 percent from the field and 63 percent from long range, while making 88 percent of its free throw shots. The Lions out rebounded UCO 33-22 and had a 14-8 advantage in assists.
Southern will be back in action on Saturday as the Lions play host to Northeastern State. Tip off is slated for 3 pm.