Justin Maskus, Athletic Media Relations Director
HAYS, Kan. – The 18th-ranked Missouri Southern men’s basketball team utilized a 14-3 run late in the second half to win at Fort Hays State, defeating the Tigers, 85-67, inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Southern (10-2, 3-0 MIAA) wins for the first time in Hays since 2012, snapping a six-game losing streak inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Kinzer Lambert hit six three pointers, going 6-of-9 from long-range to lead the Lions with 24 points. The six threes tie a season and career-high for Lambert, while the 24 points ties a season-high. Braelon Walker and Elyjah Clark scored 14 points each, while Reggie Tharp had 12 points and a game-high six assists. Cam Martin had a game-high 11 rebounds, but for the first time in his career as a Lion, Martin failed to score in double-figures, scoring seven in the game.
Hays (6-5, 0-3 MIAA) was led in scoring by Jared Vitztum with 17 points.
A three from Walker with 16:32 left in the 1st half, put the Lions up 8-3 early on and another three from Walker, this time with 10:21 left in the half put the Lions up 18-8. A layup from Parker Jennings made the score 24-14 with 6:36 to go, while a three from Jennings with just 2:34 to go gave the Lions a 33-21 lead. A three from Lambert 1:45 left in the half capped a 10-0 run for the Lions and pushed the lead to 36-21.
Another three for Lambert, this one with a minute to go in the half gave the Lions a 16-point lead (39-23) and Southern led 41-24 with Lambert scoring the last eight points of the half for the Lions.
A three from the Tigers’ Vitztum cut the Lions’ lead to 12 (49-37) with 15:39 left in the second half, but a jumper from Reggie Tharp with 10:28 to go, got the Lions’ lead back to 17 (63-46). The Tigers got within seven (69-62) after a three from Calvin Harrington with 5:21 left, but a hard foul on Martin that led to a technical for the Tigers meant four free throws (all were made) for the Lions and possession at 4:41 left.
Southern went on to a 14-3 run to go up 81-62 after a three from Clark with 2:39 left in the game. A layup from Tharp with 39 seconds left put the final points on the board.
The Lions shot 53 percent from the field and 57 percent from long-range, while making 10-of-13 free throws. Southern had a 38-28 advantage on the boards and led the game from start to finish. The Lions had 17 assists on 31 made baskets and held a 36-20 advantage in the paint.
Southern will be back in action Monday night when the Lions travel to Nebraska-Kearney. Tip off is slated for 7:30 pm.