Lions ready for conference opening games


Kristen Stacy | The Chart

Senior guard Lane Barlow drives to the bucket against Mid-American Christian on Nov. 22, 2014, at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The Lions trailed by eight at the half and struggled to keep Evangels off the scoreboard as they shot 57 percent for the game. Southern came back to score 42 points in the second half with 19 from junior Taevaunn Prince, but lost the contest by a 84-78 final.

Ian Taylor, Sports Editor

Southern opens MIAA play on the road before coming home on Dec. 16 to play Culver-Stockton.

While most stuffed themselves to the brim of pants button popping over the Thanksgiving break, Southern took to the hardwood, playing twice during the break in San Antonio at the St. Mary’s Classic.

For the Lions (5-3), it presented another opportunity to calm wandering minds following a bumpy start to the season, as the team began the classic with a record right at the .500 mark.

“I feel that we are all adjusting,” said senior Lane Barlow, “and the long road trips have helped us bond as a team and become one.”

The Lions opened the classic with a contest against St. Mary’s as they continued to push through the early non-conference portion of the 2014-15 season.

Southern was led by the performance of junior transfer Taevaunn Prince, who was flawless throughout the game, going a perfect 6-6 from the floor and 4-4 from the charity stripe.

The Lions took a three-point advantage into the half, and after a second half full of runs, Southern held on to win 69-67. Southern was out rebounded 34 to 27, but made up for it by shooting 50 percent from the floor in the game.

Next up for the Southern was Midwestern State. Once again the Lions offense was sparked by a single catalyst, in this case Barlow, who went 9-16 from the floor and 2-5 from downtown, all while hitting 9-10 from the free-throw line, good enough for a career-high 29 points.

Next for the Lions are the all important conference contests, the first steps to a possible postseason berth following last season’s MIAA Tournament Championship that the Lions hope to replicate.

“We are preparing like we always have for every game,” said head coach Jeff Boschee. “Nothing has changed because of it being a conference game. We take it one game at a time and concentrate on personnel along with offensive and defensive tendencies.”

The Lions play tomorow at Washburn, the second of two road MIAA showdowns.