Team’s offensive rhythm results in third victory

Keith Robertson

The Missouri Southern men picked up their second consecutive win Jan. 25 by defeating Truman State University, 91-83.

Robert Corn, head coach, said the Lions, shot extremely well and developed a good offensive rhythm early that carried on throughout the game. He said the defensive rhythm was not quite as good, but the offense was enough to carry the team.

“I thought we executed well on offense,” Corn said.

“We made the extra pass, got good shots and hit them for the most part.

“We weren’t expecting to score quite as much as we did, but we got ahead early and that forced Truman to take some shots earlier than they would have liked which set the pace for the game.”

The Lions were led by a career-high 28 points from junior guard Ameer Watts. His previous career high came one week earlier with 26 points in the overtime loss to Emporia State University.

Corn said he could not be more pleased with the play he has received from Watts all year.

“He is a real team leader and he makes the good decisions,” Corn said. “He is just having a heck of a year for us.”

Corn said the job Watts did Jan. 25 not only resulted in his highest career point total, but also got the post players into the action.

“Ameer did a good job of driving and dishing us the ball down low and really got us going,” said Zach Scheirer, senior center.

“Once the middle was opened up, it gave our shooters a chance to get going.”

Confidence was another factor that contributed to Southern’s win at Truman.

“Anytime a team is playing with confidence, like we are now, they have a better chance of winning,” Corn said. “We knew we had to go into the game with confidence because it is so difficult to win on the road in this league.”

The win Jan. 25 improved the Lions’ record to 12-4 (5-3 MIAA), and it moved them into a three-way tie for third place with Northwest Missouri Sate University and Southwest Baptist University.

Everyone is still chasing Washburn University and Emporia State University, although only one game separates the two teams tied for first and the three teams tied for third.

Before Wednesday night’s game at the University of Missouri-Rolla,the main area of concentration for Southern was containing Brian Westre, UMR’s center senior.

Westre, the conference’s third leading scorer, has been a formidable force in the paint all season, and the job of holding him fell on Scheirer and Darrell Redmond.

“Darrell and I have done a pretty good job all year on the conference centers,” Scheirer said.

“None of them have had huge games against us, and we’re just going to try to keep that up.”

But the Lions could not stop Westre and the Miners. Southern dropped its fourth MIAA game of the season 65-61.

Behind a 15-6 run with 8:22 left in the second half, UMR took the lead, and a three-pointer by Kerry Darting with 2:47 left put them up for good.

Westre led the way for the Miners with 24 points, followed by Damian Henderson and Darting with 16 and 15 points respectively.

The Lions were led on the offensive end by junior forward Deon Rose who had 20 points. The only other Lions in double figures was Warren with 10 points.

Southern’s second sweep through the conference will begin at home on Saturday against Southwest Baptist. The first meeting between these two teams resulted in a 15-point loss for the Lions.

Corn is not planning on making any wholesale changes against them or any of the teams in the conference, and he is optimistic about the remainder of the season.