Lions travel to regional challenge tournament

Jordan Larimore

 

Robert Corn’s team is going straight from one South Central Regional tournament to another. 

After a 26-win season in which Corn’s men’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the regional tournament, the Lions open their regular season with the South Central Regional Challenge this weekend. Southern will first face Dallas Baptist University today at 1 p.m., followed by a matchup with Arkansas-Monticello at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. The tournament will be hosted in Bartlesville, Okla.

“Both teams have a lot of returning players,” Corn said. “Dallas Baptist has their top seven players back. Arkansas-Monticello has three of their top scorers back. Both teams are going to be veteran basketball teams and both of them like to push the basketball up, and so it’s going to be very important that we do a good job in transition defense. And our half-court defense has to be solid because they can score.”

Corn also mentioned that this week has been the first time this season that his entire team has been able to practice together, as injured players begin to get healthy. 

Jason Adams hasn’t been slowed by back surgery since returning to the floor in the One State, One Spirit Classic, TJ Williams has been wearing a splint on a potentially fractured thumb, Patrick Hester has suffered a pulled groin and Jordan Talbert injured his ankle in the Mizzou game.

Corn is optimistic that all four will be able to play this weekend.

The Lions began this season with two exhibitions, both designed to be fundraisers for the University’s Foundation’s Tornado Relief Fund. Southern lost both, first to the University of Missouri by a score of 114-68 and then to Missouri State University 84-48. Corn says it is difficult to draw confidence from losses, but he hopes that his team will remember the games throughout the season and perhaps draw inspiration from knowing that it has competed against NCAA Division-I opponents.