JOPLIN -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team couldn't overcome a hot shooting first half from visiting Nebraska-Kearney as the Lopers defeated the Lions 74-66 today at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (9-6, 4-3 MIAA) was led in scoring by 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Jordan Talbert, his fifth double-double of the season. Marquis Addison scored 17 points and added three assists and three steals. Bryan Adams scored eight points off the bench for the Lions.
Kearney (5-11, 2-6 MIAA) shot 75 percent from the field and 63 percent from long range in the first half as the Lopers led 42-30 at the half.
The UNK lead was two (10-8) after a layup from Stephen Atkinson with 15:57 left in the first half. The Lopers, however went on a 18-1 run and pushed their lead to 17 (28-11) after a jumper from Mike Dentlinger. The Loper lead was as much as 18 in the half, the last time after a layup from Tyler Shields made the score 39-21 at 4:20 left in the half. The Lions closed out the half on a 9-3 run.
Southern cut the lead to eight (55-47) after a layup from Talbert with 10:32 in the second half, but the Lopers pushed the lead to 17 (67-50) with 5:00 left in the half and despite a late run, the Lions couldn't complete the comeback.
Southern shot 40 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free-throw line, but couldn't overcome the hot first half from the Lopers.
Southern will be back in action on Wednesday night when the Lions travel to Emporia to take on Emporia State at 7:30 pm.