Lions head back to 'ship with title fight against Pittsburg Stat - KOAM TV 7

Lions head back to 'ship with title fight against Pittsburg State

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Press Release MSSU:

The Missouri Southern men's basketball program will make its second-straight trip to the MIAA Tournament finals as the Lions will take on Pittsburg State in the MIAA Championship game. Tip off from Municipal Auditorium is slated for 1 pm.     

Game Information

Teams: Missouri Southern (20-10) vs. Pittsburg State 19-11)

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2015
Tip-Off: 1 pm
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Site: Municipal Auditorium
Series Record:Southern leads 50-44
Coaches: Jeff Boschee (20-10 overall/at MSSU). Kevin Muff (75-66 overall/at PSU)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 KBTN - Mike McClure - Play-by-play
Internet Audiowww.mssulions.com
Live Stats: www.mssulions.com
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssumensbball

A look at the coaches: Jeff Boschee, MSSU - Jeff Boschee is in his first season as the head coach of the Missouri Southern basketball program after serving four seasons as an assistant and associate head coach. He was named the head coach of the Lions on July 1, 2014.  Since Boschee arrived at Southern, the Lions have gone 106-44, made four consecutive MIAA tournaments and had trips to three of the last four NCAA Division II postseason tournaments, while claiming the 2010-11 MIAA regular season championship, and the 2013-14 post-season tournament championship. The 2010-11 team set the MIAA record for conference wins in a season with 19. Under Boschee's leadership, former Lion Skyler Bowlin was the MIAA's Player and Defender of the Year in 2011. He was a first-team All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American selection, being named to three different All-America teams. He was also the Region Player of the Year and a finalist for the National Player of the Year. Bowlin signed a professional contract to play basketball in the German Pro League after completing his eligibility and has since moved on to playing in Denmark.

Kevin Muff enters his fifth year as head basketball coach at Pittsburg State University after being hired to the position on April 5, 2010. Muff has compiled a 75-66 (.505) record in four seasons at Pitt State. He led the Gorillas to an 18-10 record – the squad's highest win total since the 2006-07 campaign – and an appearance in the second round of the MIAA Postseason Tournament in 2011. Muff guided the Gorillas to a 17-14 record and a berth in the finals of the MIAA Postseason Tournament in 2012. Muff, 50, a former assistant coach at Pitt State from 1990-93, returned to campus after serving 12 seasons as head coach at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., where he averaged 21 wins per season over his last five years at the school. Prior to his assignment at Cloud County, Muff coached five seasons at Wamego High School, leading the school to a Kansas Class 4A state runner-up finish in 1998. He was named the Flint Hills Area Coach of the Year during the 1997-98 season.

The Series - The Lions lead 50-44 in the all-time series with 20 wins in their last 33 tries vs. the Gorillas.  The series now has some extra bragging rights as the two schools will be vying for the State Farm Trophy as part as the State Farm Trophy Series that pitts the two athletic departments against each other in a total points series. The Lions are 33-13 at home all-time vs. the Gorillas with wins in ten of the last 13 home meetings. Southern is 15-30 at Pittsburg. Sixteen of the last 28 games between the two border rivals have been decided by seven points or less.The 94 games played between the two schools is the most played between any two schools in MSSU history. 

Defending Champs - The Lions won the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament in Kansas City last year, defeating Nebraska-Kearney in the opener. The Lions beat Northwest Missouri in game two and won against Central Oklahoma in the Tournament Championship.     

Record Breakers - Junior shooting guard Austin Wright set two records for the Lions last year, breaking the single-season three point percentage mark (.493) and he also is the current career-leader in that category (.460). 

Record Breakers II - Wright is climbing the charts in career three pointers made at MSSU. He moved into the top five last week and currently sits in fourth at 172 career treys. He needs 53 to break Skyler Bowlin's record of 224.   

Record Breakers III - Wright broke the MSSU single-game three point record against Northeastern State when the junior hit nine as part of 28 points in the Lions' 90-54 win. 

Three Point Streak - The Lions failed to make a three-pointer at Arkansas Tech in their match-up in 2012-13. It was the first time in 403 games that Southern had failed to hit a three pointer, dating back to Jan. 20, 1999 against Missouri S&T. The Lions have had a three in 83-straight games since Arkansas Tech in 2012-13. 

Double-Double This - Taevaunn Prince has nine double-double's this season. Against Emporia State, both Prince and Lane Barlow had a double-double each. 

Triple-Double This - Lane Barlow recorded his first career triple-double against Lindenwood on Feb. 25 when the senior had 13 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.  

Perfect When - The Lions are perfect this year when they do the following things: score 90+ (6-0), have more assists (11-0) and out shoot the opponent (17-0).

All-MIAA - Taevaunn Prince was a second-team All-MIAA pick, while Cameron Cornelius and Lane Barlow were honorable mention selections. Greg Renfroe was named to the MIAA's All-Defensive team.   

Lions vs. Pitt in MIAA Tournament - MSSU and Pitt State have met twice in the MIAA Tournament. The Lions beat PSU in 2000 semis and again in the 2005 quarterfinals.

MSSU In MIAA Tournament - The Lions are 20-18 all-time in the MIAA Tournament and have a 2-0 record against UNK. Against their side of the bracket, the Lions are 1-0 against UCO, but 1-5 against UCM.     

Around The Region - Augustana won the NSIC Tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional. East Central and Arkansas Tech are in the finals of the GAC Tournament today. 

NCAA Stat Leaders - The Lions, as a team, rank sixth nationally in free throws made, while ranking 18th in three point defense. They rank 12th in free throw attempts and 51st in free throw percentage. Individually, Taevaunn Prince ranks 17th in free throws made and 29th in free throw attempts. Greg Renfroe ranks 24th in total blocks and 29th in blocks per game. Austin Wright ranks fifth in three point percentage.       

MIAA Stat Leaders - As a team, the Lions lead the MIAA in free throw attempts and free throws made, while also leading in three point defense. The team ranks third in free throw percentage, offensive rebounds per game, and in scoring offense. Southern ranks fourth in defensive rebounds per game, and field goal defense, while ranking fifth in total rebounds. Individually, Wright leads the league in three point shooting, while Renfroe leads in total blocks and blocks per game. Prince leads in free throw attempts, while Barlow leads in triple doubles. WRight is second in total threes and three's/game, while Prince is third in both total points and total rebounds. 

Up Next - The Lions will wait to see their postseason fate. The winner of this game gets an automatic bid and the loser will will have to hope for an at-large bid to NCAA Tourney.

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