Lincoln heading to Missouri Southern for MIAA basketball doubleheader

Lincoln’s DJ Richardson puts up a short jumper during a game against Missouri Southern earlier this season at Jason Gym. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
Lincoln’s DJ Richardson puts up a short jumper during a game against Missouri Southern earlier this season at Jason Gym. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

The Lincoln men’s basketball team will continue its three-game road trip today with a road MIAA contest against the Missouri Southern Lions.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Joplin.

The Blue Tigers began the road trip last Saturday with a 52-51 overtime victory at Central Missouri. Lincoln was led by Elijah Farr in the win with 16 points and Franck Yetna added 12.

Missouri Southern (9-12, 7-8 MIAA) is in its second season in the tenure of head coach Sam McMahon, a former Jefferson City High School standout. The Lions scuffled to open conference play this season and dropped their first three MIAA games but have figured it out of late, winning two of the past three and three of their previous five games.

Missouri Southern is coming off a 65-61 loss last Saturday at Central Oklahoma, which snapped a short two-game win streak.

The Blue Tigers (13-7, 8-6) enter in seventh place in the conference standings with eight games left in the regular season. The top 10 teams qualify for the MIAA Tournament.

The Lions sit in the middle of the conference in scoring offense and defense, averaging 73.7 points on offense (eighth) while allowing 72.3 per game (10th). Lincoln is 11th offensively (70.3 points per game) and fifth in scoring defense (65.2).

Five players average double figures for Missouri Southern, led by 6-foot-6 junior forward Darius Dawson at 13.3 per game. Senior guard Vinson Sigmon Jr. (5-10) is next at 11.6 points per game, junior guard Avery Taggart (6-5) averages 10.6 per contest while graduate guard Cam Williams (6-2) and senior guard Martin Macenis (6-5) are right behind at 10.5 per game each.

Lincoln won the first matchup of the season 76-65 on Dec. 16 at Jason Gym. The Lions lead the all-time series 62-41 despite dropping the last three in the series.

III

The Lincoln women’s basketball team will face a tough test when it travels to take on the No. 24 Missouri Southern Lions.

The women’s contest will begin the MIAA doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. in Joplin.

Missouri Southern (17-4, 13-2 MIAA) enter on a 14-game winning streak and have not lost since Dec. 2 in a 73-55 final at Missouri Western. The Lions enter with a 6-0 record on their home floor.

The Blue Tigers (6-14, 2-12) enter on a five-game losing streak and have not won since a Jan. 13 home victory against Washburn. Lincoln dropped its only game its lone game last week 77-44 at Central Missouri.

Missouri Southern picked up a 76-57 victory on Dec. 16 in the first matchup of the season between the two sides. The Lions have won 20 straight in the series, with the Blue Tigers’ last victory coming Feb. 1, 2012, and lead the all-time series 43-5.

Missouri Southern averages 73.3 points per game offensively (fourth in MIAA) and allow 59.5 per game (third), compared to Lincoln scoring 63.3 (13th) and allowing 71.9 (13th) per contest.

Four Lions average double figures in scoring, led by 6-foot-3 freshman center Ryan Franklin at 12.1 per game. Senior guard Kryslyn Jones (5-6) is next at 11.9 per contest, junior guard Kaitlin Hunnicutt has added 11.9 and senior forward Brandi Hudson (5-10) has chipped in 10.2 per game.