Lions hold off Lopers in thriller

Jordan Schoenberger goes for a layup on Feb.19. 

Photo by Mike Gullett

Jordan Schoenberger goes for a layup on Feb.19. 

The Lions took on the Nebraska Kearney Lopers on Saturday, March 2, in Kearney, Nebraska.

Despite the snow storm traveling through Nebraska, the Lions looked to increase their record and clinch their spot in the MIAA tournament.

Coming into the game the Lopers were ranked eighth in the MIAA holding a record of 8-10 in conference play, while Southern was in the 10th spot holding a record of 5-13.

The Lions hopes for making the MIAA tournament depended on them winning and the SBU Bearcats losing to Lindenwood.

In the first five minutes of the game the Lions were down 7-10 but were able to make a come back and make the score 13-10 with two, three-pointers shot by freshman Layne Skiles, and junior Destiny Cozart.

The first quarter ended tied at 13-13. A defensive second quarter by both teams sent the game into halftime with the Lions down 29-27.

Coming out of halftime the Lions made a run to make the score 39-31 halfway through the third before the Lopers started a comeback.

This led up to a three-pointer from Krista Clark and a buzzer beater on the right wing from Cozart to put the Lions up two before the fourth.

The fourth quarter began with back to back scores from the Lions and they began to run away with a win.

Junior Chasidee Owens pulled in 11 points while Cozart also had 10 points. The Lions would win the game 59-56 to clinch a spot in the MIAA championship.

This will be the Lion’s first appearance in the championship tournament since the 2015-16 season. In that tournament the Lions lost in the second round to Fort Hays State University 79-65.

The seedings for the MIAA tournament is Fort Hays State University, Central Missouri University, Lindenwood University, Washburn University, Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University, Central Oklahoma University, University of Nebraska Kearney, Missouri Western State University, and Missouri Southern getting the 10th seed.

“I could not be more excited to go to Kansas City,” said senior Chelsea Henry. “We haven’t made in appearance since my freshman year and I could not be more proud of my team.

“We aren’t just going for the experience; we’re going to win it all.”

Henry has been named All-MIAA second team alongside Owens who was awarded All-MIAA honorable mention.

The 10th seed Lions played the seventh seed Bronchos on Wednesday, March 6. Results of the game were unavailable as of press time.