Feb. 26, 2011
Season ends in Joplin
JOPLIN, Mo.-Eighth-ranked Missouri Southern shot 56 percent from the field and never trailed during an 83-64 win against Northwest Missouri State Saturday at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
It's the eighth win in nine games for Missouri Southern (23-3, 19-3 MIAA), which clinched the MIAA championship Wednesday and will be the top seed of next week's MIAA tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Keane Thomann scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead the Lions.
Northwest (10-16, 8-14) was eliminated from postseason contention in their regular season finale for the third consecutive season and all three losses came against Missouri Southern. Elijah Allen scored a team-high 21 points. Arunas Simanavicius finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Both seniors played in their final collegiate contest.
Missouri Southern made 23-of-25 free throws and outrebounded Northwest 37-25. Thomann and Jordan Talbert had seven boards each. Point guard Skyler Bowlin, the leading candidate for MIAA Player of the Year, had seven assists to go with 12 points.
Northwest guard Kyle Haake hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half that cut Missouri Southern's 40-32 halftime lead to five, but that would be closest the Bearcats would get. Thomann scored the first and last two points during an 8-0 run that quickly pushed the lead to 48-35.
Bearcat point guard DeShaun Cooper had averaged 26 points in his last four games, but was limited to 10 Saturday and didn't record a field goal in the second half. The Lions made 15-of-23 shots in the second half and were 13-of-13 from the free-throw line.
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