Lions maul PSU in Bordertown Battle

A large mass of Southern students came to rally support at the game against rival Pitt State.

A large mass of Southern students came to rally support at the game against rival Pitt State.

Noelle Ott

After fifteen years, Southern finally defeated Northwest Missouri State University.

On Feb. 19, the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team defeated NWMSU in a win of 78-73.

This victory broke an eight-game losing streak for the Lions when they won at the Bearcat Arena.

Southern would score first when Matt Habermehl, senior center, shot a two-pointer during the first 18 seconds of the game.

However, NWMSU held onto the lead during most of the first half. The Bearcats couldn’t keep the Lions back as the first half would end tied 36-36 when Habermehl would again come through and score two free throws and a three-pointer with one second left in the first half.

During the second half, things would heat up as Southern would take the lead when Tyler Ryerson, freshman guard, would go for a lay-up.

However, the Bearcats would come within one point of the Lions on six occasions. Southern blocked them each time and each time the Lions pulled on ahead. Southern kept the lead for the entirety of the second half.

Ryerson and the six-foot-one-inch senior forward, Orestus Cavness, led the Lions with 17 points.

Ryerson scored the 12 of his points in the first half and Cavness scored 12 points in the second half. Cavness also had eight rebounds.

Hiram Ocasio, senior forward, ended the game with 14 points, which moved him into ninth place on the Lions’ all-time scoring list.

“The big thing is when you go through adversity, you got to stick together,” said Robert Corn, men’s head basketball coach, “And we’re sticking together.”

On Feb. 23, Southern was pitted against the Gorillas and came away victorious in the Del Rio Bordertown Battle with a score of 78-71.

The Lions would obtain the lead five times during the first half. Southern would lead the first half 36-31 with Cavness leading with seven points.

Although the game was close throughout, in the second half Southern would hold the Gorillas back as they kept the lead for the entire game.

“We had a lot of energy,” Corn said, “but we had a lot of positive energy.”

Cavness would keep the lead in points for the game as he led with 21 points and had nine rebounds.

Ocasio had 15 points total, including two three-pointers, and Quentin Edwards, junior guard, scored 13 points and nabbed eight rebounds.

“Our guys played really smart basketball,” Corn said, “They haven’t quit all year. They were rewarded tonight because of it.”

With the win against the Gorillas, the Lions secured their position in the MIAA Postseason Tournament.

Southern currently stands at 11-17 and 7-10 for the MIAA.

Their next game will be against Missouri Western State University on Saturday. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.