Lions to host Truman tomorrow

Junior Mariun Price goes for a layup during Southerns game against Fort Hays. Southern lost 67-59.

Junior Mariun Price goes for a layup during Southern’s game against Fort Hays. Southern lost 67-59.

Cody Thorn

The recent road struggles for the Missouri Southern Lions continued Wednesday in a 72-70 loss to Northwest Missouri State.

The Bearcats’ Hunter Henry drained two free-throws with 2.5 seconds left on the clock sending Southern home with a 15-5 record after a 12-0 start.The Lions’ conference record dropped to 5-5.

Southern had four players in double-figures led by Skyler Bowlin with 20 points and five assists on 6-10 shooting from the field. Vincent Ateba went 7-11 from the field and scored 18 points with six rebounds and three steals. Mariun Price scored 14, while Adams had 10 points off the bench.

Henry led the Bearcats in scoring with 23 points and four assists. Northwest shot 55 percent from the field, while the Lions shot 47 percent.

Last Saturday, in a trek to Omaha, Neb., Southern fell to new MIAA memberNebraska-Omaha.

The Mavericks won 74-64, dropping MSSU to 1-3 on the road in league games this year and it was the fourth loss in the last seven games for the team after a 12-0 start.

Head Coach Robert Corn’s team will look to get back on the winning track this week with league games at Maryville against Northwest Missouri State and at home Saturday against Truman State.

The Bearcats are tied for the second worst conference records in the MIAA with a 2-7 mark, which is a bit deceiving. Prior to a loss to No. 3 ranked Southwest Baptist Saturday, NWMSU won two straight games against Truman State and The University of Central Missouri, so the team is improving.

“They are playing better,” Corn said. “They got out of the blocks slow but it is a matter of a time. They won their last two games (prior to SBU). They are good defensively and definitely coming around. Hunter Henry is as good as player in the MIAA as there is. Two years ago he was the MIAA Player of the Year as a sophomore, so he is very good player … always tough.”

Overall, the Bearcats are 7-9.

The key for MSSU in this game is to contain Hunter Henry. The 6-foot-9 senior averages 17.6 points per game this season and is scoring 18.8 points per game in league games.

The Bulldogs of Truman State are the underdogs in the league, sporting a 1-8 record in MIAA play. Overall, Truman is 6-10.

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, the Bulldogs won their first league game by edging Missouri Western by two, 69-67. That was the team’s first win of any kind since Nov. 24.

The Bulldogs have three players scoring in double figures, average-wise, going into play this week. The trio is led by guard Banks Estridge, who scoring 11 points per game Ethan Freeman and Patrick Fandja average 10.4 and 10.0 points per game, respectively.

The Truman State game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

In MSSU’s last game, the Lions were unable to rally from a 10-point deficit against UNO. The Mavericks went up by as many as 13 points in the second half, before a pair of free throws by Skyler Bowlin pulled his team within three points, 56-53, with about six minutes to play. After a run by UNO, the Lions never got closer than six points the remainder of the game.

“Their guards were very good,” said Corn. “Our transition defense wasn’t very good and they scored several easy baskets as a result. We shot the ball poorly, which kept us playing catch up most of the game.

“We had opportunities, but we couldn’t get the key stop or hit the key basket when we had opportunities to get some momentum.”