Despite a career-high six three pointers (five in the first half) from Mariun Price, the Missouri Southern basketball team fell 89-83 tonight in the first round of the 2010 MIAA Basketball Tournament to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.
Southern (17-11) was led in scoring by Price’s 22 points on 8-19 shooting, 6-9 from long range. Skyler Bowlin scored 19 points (all in the second half), while Jason Adams added 16. DaRell Crittendon had eight points and eight boards, while Chris Scruggs scored eight off the bench.
UNO (20-8) was led in scoring by a career night from Torian Harris as he scored 26 points (10-15) from the free-throw line. Tyler Bullock scored 18, while three others scored ten or more.
In a series this season where the average score was 104-93, both teams started the game cold as they combined to miss their first nine shots before the Mavericks’ Bullock hit a three pointer, two and a half minutes into the game for the contests’s first points.
A three from Price gave the Lions a 11-10 lead as part of a 6-0 run with 14 minutes left in the half. After the Mavs re-took the lead, another three from Price gave Southern a 14-12 lead with 12:52 left but UNO answered right back with a three from Jeff Martin to take a 15-14 lead. A third and fourth three from Price gave Southern a 20-15 lead with 11:05 left and forced a Maverick timeout. Price’s threes on that run came from the Lions’ transition game as steals forced both fast-break shots.
The Mavs, however, turned a five point deficit into a three point lead with a 12-4 run over the next five minutes and led 27-24 after a layup from Dion Curry forced a Southern timeout at 6:58. Coming out of the timeout, however, Adams knocked home his third three of the half to tie the game at 27.
A free-throw from Torrian Harris gave the Mavericks a 41-36 lead with 1:19 to go in the half and two quick layups from Harris made the score 45-36 at the break.
Price’s sixth three of the game cut the Maverick lead to three (48-45) with just under 16 minutes to go in the second half. The Mavs responded again and led 56-47 with 13 to go.
A pair of buckets from Scruggs, the latter being an alley-oop dunk from Price, and a pair of free-throws from Rich Borries made the score 56-53 with 11:24 left.
The UNO lead increased to 72-60 with under six minutes to go and was 81-68 with 1:48 left after a pair of free throws from Bullock.
A pair of late free throws from Bowlin cut the lead to 83-76 with just under a minute to go. A pair of acrobatic layups from TJ Williams with under 30 seconds cut the lead to five (85-80) and a three from Bowlin with 20 seconds left made the score 87-83.
The Mavericks, however, hit their final 6-8 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
The Lions forced 19 UNO turnovers, scoring 29 points off the miscues. Southern shot 38 percent from the floor, while the Mavericks shot 48 percent. Nebraska-Omaha, however, out scored the Lions 42-22 in the paint, holding Keane Thomann to his only zero-point output of the season.