Defending home court is pivotal as Lions drop back-to-back games

You have to date back to the 2012-2013 season to find out the last time the Lions lost back-to-back games on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

The two opponents in those two games were Northeastern State University and Nebraska-Kearney. 

It’s fitting that the first opponent in their two game losing skid was Neb.-Kearney on Feb. 11. This was a battle between two of the hottest teams in the conference as Southern (15-11, 12-8 MIAA) came into game winners of three straight and the Lopers (16-9, 12-7 MIAA), winners of five straight. 

Both the Lions and Lopers have already clinched spots in the MIAA Tournament. 

The two teams met on Jan. 2 in Kearney, Neb. in a high scoring affair that the Lions dropped 113-100. 

The Lions trailed by as many as 30 in that game before storming back and making it a game at the end.

Fast forward to Feb. 11 on Robert Corn Court, the Lopers’ biggest lead grew too many as 20 points. 

Southern trailed by 16 points at half as they shot only 38 percent, while the Lopers shot a staggering 69 percent. 

The Lopers assisted on 14 of their 18 made baskets in the first half.

As the deficit grew to 20, Senior Taevaunn Prince and Sophomore Charlie Brown put the Lions on their back and led the charge back into the game. 

Both Prince and Brown scored 18 points in the second half to get within one, at 79-78 with 28 seconds left. 

The Lions wouldn’t score again as the Lopers taxed on five more points to seal a road victory. 

Prince led the offensive attack with 30 points, his ninth 30-point game of the season. 

Brown scored 22 points, with 18 coming in the second half. 

The Lions suffered their only loss of the season when both Prince and Brown score over 20 points in a game.

Fort Hays visited Robert Corn Court for the final match-up between both teams this season. FHSU squeaked by the Lions in overtime for a victory on Jan. 4 in Hays, Kan. in their first meeting this season. 

The first half was closely contested as Southern trailed 42-39 heading into the break. 

Both teams exchanged pivotal runs in the second half, which ultimately led to 80 all tie with 2:33 left in the game. 

Big man Bruce Marshall gave the Lions a two point lead at 82-80 with 1:56 left. 

The Tigers then went on a 5-0 run to end the game and escape Robert Corn Court with an 85-82 victory. 

Southern was swept by both Neb.-Kearney and FHSU on the season. With already clinching a spot in the MIAA Tournament, the Lions currently sit in fourth place in the standings. 

Tomorrow’s meeting versus Central Missouri has big implications on the standings. 

Tip-off with the Mules is slated for 7:30 p.m. from the Meyer Sports Center.