Lions play ESU, improve conference record to 5-2

Orestus O.C. Cavness jumps for the tip-off against NWMSU Bearcats during the break.

Orestus “O.C.” Cavness jumps for the tip-off against NWMSU Bearcats during the break.

Noelle Ott

This season the Lions have reason to celebrate.

In the Jan. 12 game against Central Missouri State University, Missouri Southern came away victorious with an 88-72 win.

The Mules did lead at various times during the game.

At one moment they would lead by as much as seven points.

However, the game belonged to the Lions.

Hiram Ocasio, senior guard, made about 54 percent of the shots he attempted, scoring a total of 18 points during the entirety of the game, including his 1,000th career point.

Orestus Cavness, senior, would lead the way, however, by scoring 28 points for Southern.

“The Central Missouri game was a big win for us,” said Robert Corn, men’s basketball head coach. “They were 15th in the nation.”

Ocasio and Quentin Edwards, junior guard, both totaled eight rebounds for the game.

On Jan. 15, Southern took their third straight win in an away game against Southwest Baptist University, prevailing with a score of 77-72 at the Meyer Sports Center.

Although the Lions were down in the second half, Corn wasn’t worried.

“You got to keep playing,” Corn said. “You don’t like to be down, but our guys stuck together. You judge what you do in 40 minutes, not two or three.”

Southern would fight on, continuing with a 21-3 run in a six-minute span that led to the Bearcat’s defeat.

In the second half, the Lions would make 70 percent of the shots they took, totaling about 51 percent for the game.

Cavness was the big scorer for the game, taking in 24 points.

Jeremie Bond, junior center, came in next with 16 points contributing to the Lion’s 77-point total.

Southern had man early turnovers in the first half, but Corn thinks that is something they can fix.

“We need to keep them [the turnovers] at 12 or less,” he said, “If we can do that, it puts us in a good position.”

Matt Habermehl, sophomore, and Ocasio had nine turnovers while Bond ended the game with 10.

Southern played Jan. 19 against Emporia State University with a win of 79-73.

They will compete in a home game 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 against Washburn University.