Lions take home opener

Junior Stanley Titsworth takes a shot Wednesday in Southerns 74-64 win over the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Junior Stanley Titsworth takes a shot Wednesday in Southern’s 74-64 win over the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Leigh Bishop

After starting the 2006-2007 season with a win, the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team faces two strong challenges this weekend.

Tonight, Southern will play Central Bible College and tomorrow they will face West Texas A&M. CBC is X-X and West Texas A&M will open its season tonight against Pittsburg State University. This weekend’s games are part of the Freeman Sports Medicine/Chris Tucker Memorial Classic at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Lions’ head coach Robert Corn knows CBC will test his team.

“They’re a well-coached team. It’s been a struggle against them for the past two years,” Corn said.

Tomorrow, the Lions will face West Texas A&M. The Buffalos open their season tonight against the Pittsburg State Gorillas, so the Buffalos will only have one game under their belts coming into the game.

“I’m expecting to see a guy I played with in junior college,” senior Myron Hodge said. “I’m hoping to see a good game.”

Corn said he knows it will be a challenge.

“They’re in the top 25 preseason poll,” he said. “It will be a good challenge. It’s important for us to play well.”

The Lions were picked to finish 10th in the preseason MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll. Currently, the Lions record is 1-0, after besting the University of Missouri-St. Louis 74-64 Wednesday at Leggett & Platt.

TJ Britton had 18 points and eight rebounds, while three others scored in double-figures and the Missouri Southern Lions defeated visiting Missouri-St. Louis 74-64 in the two team’s season openers.

Southern (1-0) opened up an 11-6 lead early on in the first half after a layup from Deonte Cox. UMSL would tie the game twice in the half and take a quick two point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half, but threes from Myron Hodge and Tyler Ryerson would give the Lions a one point lead at the half.

Southern shot 50 percent (17-34) from the field in the half, while UMSL (0-1) shot 42 percent. Last year, the Lions lost to the Rivermen 87-66 in overtime.

“We’re most definitely looking for revenge against them; we got to pay them back for what they did to us last year,” Hodge said before the game.

In the team’s exhibition opener Nov. 4, the Lions won 89-64 over Living the Dream. Living the Dream had a few players that were former Lions.

“It’s good to see former Lions back on campus and seeing them doing well,” Corn said.

“Truthfully, I didn’t know who they were until after the game. They were good players; they played their hearts out,” Hodge said.

In the game, Deonte Cox racked up a game-high 25 points. Hodge finished with 14 and a game-high nine boards. Junior Joey Savage and junior Stanley Tittsworth each had nine points. Senior Matt Habermehl added seven points and junior TJ Britton and senior Dale Hunter had six points each.

“We’re fundamentally sound,” Corn said. “Having seven individuals score shows that we have an unselfish basketball team.”