Justin Maskus, Director of Athletic Communications
MARYVILLE – Cam Martin scored 46 points and the Lions broke a school record with 22 three-pointers as the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team defeated Washburn, 101-100, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament today inside Bearcat Arena in Maryville, giving head coach Jeff Boschee his 100th career win.
Southern (24-7) was fueled by Martin’s career night as he hit nine 3’s in the game going 9-of-10 from long-range and 16-of-21 from the field. He hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line and added 11 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season. The 46 points is tenth all-time in a single-game in NCAA Tournament history, while his nine 3’s were two off the Tournament single-game record.
Elyjah Clark scored 28 points as he went 8-of-17 from long-range. Braelon Walker scored 14 points on 4-of-6 from the three-point line. Reggie Tharp finished the game with ten assists. The Lions made 22 three-pointers, breaking the previous school record of 20 set against Randall in 2018. The 22 3’s is one off the NCAA Tournament single-game record.
Washburn (24-8) had five players score in double-figures, led by 24 from Javion Blake and 22 from Tyas Martin.
Washburn opened up the game on a 7-0 run, but the Lions answered back with seven unanswered points of their own and led 10-9 after a three from Martin with 15 minutes left on the clock. Back-to-back-to-back 3’s from Martin gave the Lions a 19-11 lead with 13:04 to go and a three from Clark with 12:14 on the clock put the Lions up 22-13.
A fifth three from Martin, this time with 11 minutes on the clock put the Lions up 25-19 and a put back from Martin with just under ten minutes gave the Lions a 27-20 lead. A block from Clark on the defensive end led to a fast-break three from Clark on the other side, putting the Lions up 32-24 with 7:52 on the clock. A layup from Parker Jennings put the Lions up 37-27 with 5:42 left and Martin hit his sixth three of the half to put the Lions up 40-29 the next trip down.
A driving layup from Martin, followed by a steal from Braelon Walker and a fast-break three from Clark put the Lions up 46-39 with 1:31 left in the half and forced a Washburn timeout. A three from Clark as the half was ending put the Lions up 51-39, but a last-second bucket from the Ichabods made the halftime score 51-41, Lions.
Cam Martin scored the first four points of the half and the Lions went up 55-41 with 18:53 left, forcing an Ichabods’ timeout. A three from Lambert, his first points of the game, put the Lions up 17 (58-41) with just more than 18 left on the clock and a three from Walker (his first points) gave the Lions a 63-45 lead with 16:50 to go. Martin’s seventh three-pointer of the game put the Lions up 69-50 with 14:29 to go on the clock and Martin’s eighth three-pointer gave the Lions a 77-58 lead with 12:28 to go.
A 10-2 run for the Ichabods got Washburn within 11 (79-68), but a three on the next possession from Martin, his ninth of the game which tied a single-game record for the Lions put Southern back up 82-68.
The 20th three-pointer of the game for the Lions, this one from Walker gave the Lions an 87-74 lead with 5:48 to go, and a new school record, this time from Clark was the 21st of the game with 4:30 to go gave the Lions an 92-89 lead.
A four-point play for the Ichabods, combined with a turnover for the Lions got Washburn within three (99-96) with 1:18 to go. Clark made two free throws with a minute left and Blake picked up a bucket for the Ichabods to get within one (101-100). The Lions turned the ball over on the inbounds play, giving Washburn the ball with seven seconds to go, but the Lions held strong on defense for the win.
The Lions shot 57 percent from the field and 58 percent from long-range, while making 79 percent of their free throws. The Lions were on fire from long-range, making 22 of the team’s 34 total made baskets from beyond the arc.
Southern will now be back in action in the round of 32, taking on the winner of Northern State and Southeastern Oklahoma at 5 pm on Sunday evening.