Lions look to rise to the top


Joshua Boley

Senior foward Jordan Talbert (21) is determined to take it to the hoop.

The Lions (13-3, 7-2 MIAA) stay parked in the upper echelon of the MIAA following victories over Lindenwood (8-10, 3-5 MIAA) and Lincoln last week at the Legget & Platt Athletic Center.  The first secured Head Coach Robert Corn’s 400th career victory, and the next thrust the Lions into what could be the toughest portion of the regular season.

Three of the remaining contests put Southern up against Northwest Missouri (14-5, 9-1 MIAA) and Central Missouri (14-4, 6-3 MIAA), who are both in the top five of the conference. 

Stiff competition for a Lions team flying high and looking to make Coach Corns final season one truly worth remembering.

“Coach is such a humble guy that I didn’t know about the 400 mark until after the game,” said senior Jordan Talbert.  “It’s very special to be a part of that.”

The game against Lindenwood was a tale of two halves as Southern struggled to score early on before going on a tear from the floor in the second half. 

A 42-point output in the second half paired with over 10 minutes of defense that helped hold Lindenwood scoreless.

The Lions got to the basket regularly against Lindenwood and mounted a 36 to 18 advantage in points in the paint, the key to a 70-50 win.

Next was the struggling squad from Lincoln, (2-14, 0-8 MIAA) but as the first half played out, Southern could not pull away.  After jumping out to an early 20-9 lead with inside nine minutes remaining, the Lions battled to extend the advantage further but went to the locker room up just 40-30.

The second half boiled down to fundamentals as the Lions went over 12 minutes without a basket from the floor and were forced to rely on points from the charity stripe, where they have shot 74 percent on the year. 

Cameron Cornelius did his part going 13 of 14 from the line, a substantial portion of his team-leading 21 point night.

As the Lions move into the home stretch of the season, they can take solace in the fact that the work is paying off, with the team ranked number one in scoring defense, top three in scoring offense and in the top five in numerous categories.

All signs point to the Lions being a major player in the MIAA Tournament and beyond.

“It is gonna be very important that we play well each and every time out and give ourselves a chance,” said Corn.