This rivalry game is a must win


Terri-Lynn Frasher

Junior Isaac Kreuer fighting off a double team on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center against Fort Hays State on Feb. 13, 2016. Southern currently sits in third place in the conference as they’re trying to clinch the third seed and a first-round bye with a win over Pittsburg State tomorrow. PSU defeated Southern earlier this season in Pittsburg, Kan.

With the MIAA conference tournament looming in the distance, the Missouri Southern (16-11, 13-8 MIAA) men’s basketball team currently sits in third place in the standings with the final regular season game of the year against Pittsburg State (Kan.) (16-11, 11-10 MIAA) tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s game has huge seeding implications attached to it. Not to mention, it’s against the rival.

“It’s a must win,” sophomore Charlie Brown noted. “Not because it’s Pitt, but because we want that three seed for the tournament.”

Northwest Missouri State and Nebraska-Kearney are seemingly locks at the one and two seeds as the remaining seeds are up for grabs.

Southern is currently on a two-game winning streak after sweeping the season series against Central Missouri last Saturday. The Lions trailed early and at halftime before dropping 52 second half points to complete the comeback. 

Senior Teavaunn Prince set a new MIAA single-season record by hitting nine free throws in his 25 point performance. He’s now hit 253 free throws on the year, surpassing the 252 done by UCM’s Armando Becker in the 90-91 season.

Senior Austin Wright broke his own record in the win over UCM. Wright hit two three’s giving him 81 on the season, breaking his single-season school record he set last season.

With a win tomorrow, Southern would clinch a first-round bye for the tournament. Southern has won four of its six games in the month of February this season. Since the 12-13 season, in the month of February, the Lions are 13-7.

This is the time of the year when the Lions tighten up and make a run as they’ve been to back-to-back conference title games.

“It’s huge for us because it can propel us. We have to have the mentality of coming out and striking first, being the aggressor,” said head coach Jeff Boschee.

“Our guys will be locked in and ready to go.”

The Lions had a week off to prepare for tomorrow evening. While watching film during the week off, Brown noticed a glaring description about PSU.

“When we watched film, we noticed that against other MIAA teams, PSU doesn’t play all that hard. But against us, they play extremely hard.”

PSU defeated the Lions, 89-80 in their first meeting on Jan. 16. 

Tipoff from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center for senior day is slated for 3 p.m.