Men’s basketball bows out of MIAA tourney

Jesse Cordova

The Missouri Southern men’s basketball season is officially over after a loss Thursday in the opening round of the MIAA postseason tournament.This season’s MIAA postseason tournament kicked off with the Lions taking on the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats led by MIAA MVP sophomore forward Hunter Henry. Southern came out of the gate playing inspired basketball. However, their turnovers caught up to them and with 12 minutes left in the first half, Northwest took a 15-13 lead and never looked back en route to an 89-56 victory.Last Saturday, the Lions, led by honorable mention All-MIAA selections Stanley Titsworth and Deonte Cox, snuck into the tournament with a victory over Missouri Western in their season finale. Northwest, on the other hand, locked up their postseason berth long ago. And, due to a tiebreaker, were able to gain the number one seed in the tournament. Along with Henry, who averaged 17.7 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, the Bearcats were led into battle by Wilson/MIAA Coach of the Year Steve Tappemeyer. Tappemeyer, who has won three postseason tournaments (1989, 2002, and 2004), also had MIAA Freshman of the Year in guard Lance Sullivan at his disposal.Both teams started the game a little sloppy, exchanging early turnovers before Southern jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. Titsworth scored 18 in the loss for the Lions, including 15 in the second half. Cox added 13 points. Junior guard T.J. Britton led all players with 13 rebounds. As a team, Southern only shot 32.8 percent from the floor including 5-21 from beyond the arc.In this game, Henry proved to be too much for the Lions offensively as he scored 20 points on 3-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 14-14 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Bearcats shot an impressive 36-41 or 87.8 percent from the free throw line. Senior guard Reggie Robinson scored 15 and junior guard Andy Peterson contributed 13. This game also saw head coach Robert Corn receive two technical fouls.”That is not how you want to lead a team,” Corn said. “I apologize for my actions and would like to say that the officiating did not in any way dictate the outcome of the game.”