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Lincoln men hit their free throws late to beat Missouri Southern

by News Tribune | January 24, 2023 at 12:29 a.m.

JOPLIN -- The Lincoln Blue Tigers made 8-of-8 free throws in the final minute of Monday night’s MIAA men’s basketball game, holding on to beat the Missouri Southern Lions 84-82.

The win snapped Lincoln’s streak of four consecutive road losses to Missouri Southern. The Blue Tigers’ last win in Joplin was a 75-72 victory Jan. 14, 2017.

Kevin Kone grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a putback with about :50 remaining, giving Lincoln the lead for good at 76-74.

Sai Witt blocked a shot on the other end of the floor and DJ Richardson was fouled and made a pair of free throws to extend the Blue Tiger lead to four points.

Artese Stapleton made four consecutive free throws for Lincoln, the last two coming with about :04 remaining to make the score 82-79.

Richardson made a pair of technical foul free throws to give the Blue Tigers a five-point lead. Missouri Southern’s Winston Dessesow made a 3-pointer at the end to make the final margin two points.

Witt made a 3-pointer to give Lincoln a 13-4 lead just more than four minutes into the game. The Blue Tigers never trailed in the first half, led by as many as 15 points in the final minute and went into halftime with a 39-29 advantage.

Missouri Southern battled back and took its first lead of the game on a dunk by Sam Thompson to make the score 46-45. The Lions led by as many as five points at 71-66.

Lincoln responded with an 8-1 run and never trailed again.

Kone finished with a double-double of 21 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Blue Tigers. Witt also finished with 21 points.

Lincoln had four players score in double figures, as Richardson added 17 points and Stapleton had 15 points.

Missouri Southern (12-7, 8-5 MIAA) had all five starters score in double figures, led by Christian Bundy with 17 points.

Lincoln (12-5, 8-5 MIAA) returns to Jason Gym for a three-game homestand, starting Saturday against Central Missouri. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.

III

The Lincoln women’s basketball team dropped an 84-45 decision Monday night to the Missouri Southern Lions.

The Blue Tigers were held to 28.8 percent shooting and were outrebounded 40-29.

Missouri Southern led wire-to-wire. The Lions were ahead 23-13 after one quarter, 43-24 at halftime and 69-35 through three quarters. The final margin of 39 points was the largest lead of the game.

Mercy Gonzalez and Le’Yanna McGinnis each scored nine points for Lincoln. McGinnis added seven rebounds.

Twelve players scored for Missouri Southern (17-4, 9-4 MIAA), which was led by Lacy Stokes with a game-high 15 points. Madi Stokes followed with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Lincoln (5-14, 3-10 MIAA) hosts Central Missouri -- ranked fifth in Division II by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association -- at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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