Lincoln men's basketball falls at Missouri Southern

Missouri Southern's Darius Dawson puts up a shot as Lincoln's Jose Roberto Tanchyn defends during Thursday night's game in Joplin. (Spencer Greathouse/Missouri Southern)
Missouri Southern's Darius Dawson puts up a shot as Lincoln's Jose Roberto Tanchyn defends during Thursday night's game in Joplin. (Spencer Greathouse/Missouri Southern)

JOPLIN -- The Lincoln men’s basketball team dug itself too big of a hole to climb out of Thursday night at the Missouri Southern Lions.

The Blue Tigers fell behind by as many as 16 points in the second half before falling short in their comeback bid in an 83-77 defeat in MIAA play.

The Lions opened the game on a 10-0 run, beginning with a jumper from Darius Dawson and ending with an Avery Taggart 3-pointer just more than four minutes in.

Missouri Southern led the rest of the way.

Lincoln responded quickly to the game-opening run, though, as Sam Rautins made two 3s in an 8-0 run to make it 10-8 with about 13:50 left.

The Blue Tigers got within one point at 14-13 just less than halfway through the first before the Lions stretched their lead back out to 10 points at 27-17 with about 6:30 left.

Missouri Southern entered the locker room with a 37-30 lead.

It was a poor start to the second half for Lincoln. The Blue Tigers made just one of their first eight shots of the half and allowed the Lions to use a 12-3 run and push their lead to a game-high 16 points at 49-33 with just more than 16 minutes left.

Lincoln began its charge to follow, cutting the deficit to less than 10 points with just less than 12 minutes left after a Trey Boston 3 made it 54-46. The Blue Tigers continued their push and fought all the way back to trail by just two at 68-66 with about three minutes left following a DJ Richardson jumper.

Lincoln trailed by two again at 70-68, but the Lions controlled the final two minutes and stretched their lead all the way out to 83-74 in the final seconds before a Franck Yetna 3 created the final margin.

Richardson led the way for the Blue Tigers with 21 points, Yetna added 13 and a team-high seven rebounds and Rautins finished with 12 points.

Dawson poured in a game-high 27 points for Missouri Southern (10-12, 8-8 MIAA), Vinson Sigmon Jr. added 18 points, Winston Dessesow and Taggart each scored 12 and Martin Macenis chipped in 10.

Lincoln (13-8, 8-7 MIAA) will be back in action at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Pittsburg State (14-8, 10-6 MIAA).

III

Another slow offensive first half plagued the Lincoln women’s basketball team Thursday in a 76-57 loss at the No. 24 Missouri Southern Lions.

The Blue Tigers scored just 18 points in the first half while turning the ball over 15 times.

Lincoln was able to hang tight with Missouri Southern through the first quarter and trailed just 12-9 with less than a minute left following a Steph Torres 3-pointer. The Lions added two free throws in the final minute to lead 14-9 after one.

Missouri Southern blew the game open in the second, opening the quarter on a 16-2 run to lead 30-11 with just less than four minutes left. The Lions ended up taking a 39-18 advantage into half.

Missouri Southern grabbed the biggest lead of the game at 51-24 with just more than six minutes left in the third before taking a 67-43 lead into the fourth.

The closest the Blue Tigers got in the fourth quarter was 16 points at 71-55 just more than halfway through the quarter before the Lions closed out the 19-point victory.

Torres finished with a team-high 15 points for Lincoln and AJ Bradley added 10 points.

Kaitlin Hunnicutt paced Missouri Southern (18-4, 14-2 MIAA) with 20 points, while Brandi Hudson and Ryan Franklin each added 10. Thursday was the 15th consecutive victory for the Lions.

The Blue Tigers (6-15, 2-13 MIAA) will be back in action at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Pittsburg State (17-5, 11-5 MIAA).