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Lions Win OT Thriller at Central Mo. - KOAM TV 7

Lions Win OT Thriller at Central Mo.

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RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Warrensburg, Mo. – The Missouri Southern men's basketball team made a furious comeback in the final seconds of regulation and hung on in overtime as the Lions defeated Central Missouri tonight 82-80 in overtime.
 
Southern (20-8, 15-4 MIAA) secures at least the No. 2 seed in the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City next week. The Lions can claim a share of the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed if Northwest Missouri loses in its final game on Saturday.
 
The Lions had four score in double-figures led by 18 points and 12 rebounds (tied a career high) from Elyjah ClarkKinzer Lambert had 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, while Enis Memic had 13 points and seven boards. CJ Carr had 11 points and nine assists on the night.
 
Central (19-8, 11-7 MIAA) was led by 23 points from Spencer Reaves.
 
Both teams traded baskets early on, before a layup from LJ Ross put Southern up 14-11 with 14:34 left in the first half. Central tied the game at 17 and led 21-20, but a layup from Lambert put the Lions up 22-21 with 7:46 left.
 
The game was tied at 23, but four-straight points from the Lions put Southern up 27-23 with just over four to go and a pair of freebies from Christian Bundy with 56 seconds left gave the Lions a 34-29 lead. Bundy answered again with a three in the corner with 30 seconds left to give the Lions a 37-29 lead at the break.
 
Southern led 44-35 after a layup from Memic with 14:06 left in the second half, but the Mules went on a 16-2 run and led 51-46 with 8:24 left in the half. A three from Clark stopped the run and got the Lions back within two (51-49) the next trip down and a dunk from Lambert with 6:47 left got the Lions again within two at 55-53.
 
A three from Clark on a possession that saw two offensive rebounds put the Lions back up 56-55 with 5:56 left and prompted a Central timeout.
 
Central then went on an 8-0 run and led 63-56 before a three from Carr with 52 seconds left stopped the run and after a Central misssed shot, Memic hit a layup to get the Lions within two (63-61) with 41 seconds left.
 
Reaves hit a pair of free throws for the Mules with 41 seconds left to put Central back up four (65-61), but Lambert hit a three the next trip down to make it a 65-64 game with 31 seconds left. A layup from Carr put the Lions up 66-65 with eight seconds left, but a free throw from UCM tied the game at 66 with six seconds left. A jumper from Carr as time expired was no good, forcing overtime.
 
Clark made two freebies to start the overtime period and Reaves answered back with two free throws of his own. Clark, however, hit a three the next trip down to put the Lions up 71-68 and Memic hit a three-point play of his own to push the lead to 74-68 with 3:03 left. Braelon Walker made three free throws on two different trips and despite Central hitting late shots, the Lions would make their free throws down the stretch when needed.
 
Southern shot 40 percent from the field, but out rebounded Central 47-29, including an 18-4 advantage on the offensive boards. That advantage led to a 22-6 lead in second-chance points for the Lions.
 
The Lions finish the regular-season with 20 wins for the second time in Jeff Boschee's tenure. Southern will wait to find out what time and whom the Lions will play in the MIAA Tournament next Friday.

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