Lions to face Northwest for final conference bid

Sophomore guard Skyler Bowlin looks past a defender in Southern 107-71 win against UNO.

Dani White

Sophomore guard Skyler Bowlin looks past a defender in Southern 107-71 win against UNO.

It is do or die week, so to speak, for the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team as it approaches the final games of the season.

The Lions, who beat UNO 107-71 Wednesday, have one game left before the regular season wraps up.

Sophomore Skyler Bowlin led Southern with 25 points against UNO.

Freshman forward Jason Adams had 16 points, while junior guard Mariun Price had 15.

The team needs a win against Northwest Missouri to guarantee a spot in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s postseason tournament in Kansas City next week.

The game against Northwest Missouri State will be in the friendly confines of the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

“We have played well at home the majority of the time, but just because we are at home, we can’t assume everything will be ok,” Missouri Southern mens coach Robert Corn said. “We still have to play hard with toughness, compete and execute. It’s a very important week for us and we need to win both games.”

The game Saturday will be big for both MSSU and NWMSU. The Lions and Bearcats are tied for 8th place in the MIAA standings and the winner will lock up the final spot, a trip to Kansas City and a showdown against No. 4 ranked Southwest Baptist.

“We are battling Northwest Missouri for the final spot to Kansas City so it is a must win for us if we want to play in the conference tournament. We know what is at stake so I expect our guys to be ready to play 40 minutes.”

Corn noted a few weeks ago that Southern has always been a participant in the tournament since it moved to Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City.

The Bearcats open the week with a 12-13 record overall and tied with Southern with a 7-11 mark in league play.

Northwest Missouri has won three of its last four, with wins over Truman State, Missouri Western and Pittsburg State.

Earlier in this year, the Bearcats won in Maryville over MSSU, 72-70, back on Jan. 21. Skyler Bowlin scored 20 points for the Lions.

Bowlin will likely be another key factor in this game. He is scoring 14.5 points per game., which is 11th in the MIAA.

The Lions defense will need to find a way to contain Henry and also limit the touches of guard Elijah Allen, who is second in scoring for the Bearcats with 12.9 points per game.