MarquisAddison scored 24 points and the Missouri Southern men's basketball teamturned a six-point halftime deficit into a seven-point win, defeating St.Mary's (Texas) in the season opener tonight at the Division II Tipoff.
The Lions(1-0) trailed 29-23 at the break, but Southern outscored the Ratlers (0-1)38-25 in the second half.
Southern led10-4 early on after a free-throw from JordanTalbert, but St. Mary's went on a 7-2 run to take a 14-12 lead with 12:41left in the first half. The Ratlers led by nine (24-15) at the 6:03 mark, but athree from AustinWright cut the St. Mary's lead to just three (26-23) with just under twominutes to go in the half. The lead would be six (29-23) going into the lockerroom.
The Lionswent on a 8-2 run to start the second half and tied the game at 31 on a layupfrom MattEverson. The game was tied at 33, but St. Mary's would lead by five (41-36)after a layup from Justin Alexander.
A pair offree-throws from Talbert tied the score at 46 with 6:10 left in the game andtwo more freebies from CameronCornelius tied it again at 48. A three-point play by Cornelius the nexttrip down gave the Lions a 51-48 lead and Southern would hold on to the lead fromthere on out. Two free-throws from Addison with eight seconds left provided thefinal tally.
Addison had agame-high 24 points, while Talbert and Cornelius added 12 and 11 points,respectively. Addison went 9-14 from the field and 6-7 from the free-throwline, while adding four steals. Cornelius was 7-10 from the free-throw line,while Talbert added ten rebounds for a double-double.
The Lionsforced 27 St. Mary's turnovers and scored 27 points off of the miscues,defeating a sweet 16 team from a year ago. Southern shot just 25 percent in thefirst half, but rebounded to shoot 54 percent in the second half.
Southern willconclude the tipoff tomorrow with a 7 pm (central time) tipoff against EasternNew Mexico.
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