Southern readies for run at another MIAA title


Senior guard Cameron Cornelius rises above the defense during the Lions’ victory in Pittsburg on Feb. 21, 2015. The contest finished 66-63, ending a series of tough losses against the conference elite for the Lions. Cornelius tallied 17 points and six rebounds during the game, leading the team in scoring on the way to the road victory.

Tournament time is here again for the Missouri Southern Lions, a time that will lead to another NCAA opportunity or one that will leave head coach Jeff Boschee and his squad disappointed following a year of high expectations.

Either way, it is obvious that Southern is a program on the rise. They have ascended the conference ranks year after year while recruiting elite talent from around the area, it is easy to say that the future is bright.

“It’s really exciting,” said junior Taevaunn Prince. “With it being my first year I just wanted to try and keep the winning tradition going.”

But this season has not concluded, and as the four Lions named to the All-MIAA Team get set to make a charge in Kansas City, the time is now or never.

Prince earned second-team honors during his opening season for Southern. He led the Lions in a number of statistical categories, including points per game (16.2) and rebounds per game (7.1), all while leading the MIAA in free throws made and attempted.

Also earning honors were two seniors who have made their mark in the final season of their collegiate careers, Lane Barlow and Cameron Cornelius who were both honorable mention selections.

Barlow finished second on the team in scoring (11.6 per game) using his aggressive get-to-the-rim style of play, while Cornelius was third on the team in scoring (11.2 per game).

Junior Greg Renfroe also received individual honors, as he was named to the MIAA All-Defensive Team. Renfroe proves to be a force in the paint time after time for the Lions. He led the conference this season in blocks (1.9 per game) and totaled 54 blocks overall. The total placed Renfroe fourth all-time in blocks in a season for Southern, leaving him nine shy of the record.

“We have to stay focused on the goal at hand,” said Barlow. “Understanding and playing like every game is our last, because now it truly can be.”

Still, records and honors only go so far. Winning is the ultimate satisfaction and as the Lions continue to move toward another MIAA Tournament Championship the road will only get harder. The true question is will the Lions rise to the occasion.

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