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MSSU men's basketball team holds on for win over Emporia Hornets

Jan. 22—EMPORIA, Kan. — The Missouri Southern men's basketball team outscored host Emporia State 6-3 in the final 1:13 of their MIAA matchup to log a 73-70 win Sunday in Emporia.

Southern (7-10, 5-6) opened the game with back-to-back treys by Avery Taggart and Vinson Sigmon Jr. to take an early 6-0 lead and then put together a 11-0 run midway through the first half to lead by 13 at 24-11.

ESU responded with a 9-0 run of its own to tighten the game at 24-20 with 6:51 left in the first half and outscored the Lions 15-8 down the stretch to take a 35-32 lead into halftime.

Southern's Martin Macenis opened the second half with a driving score and added a free throw to tie the game at 35-35. A Darius Dawson dunk soon gave the Lions back the lead at 37-35.

ESU (12-7, 5-6) regained the lead at 48-46 a few minutes later off an Alijah Comithier 3-pointer, but MSSU's Winston Dessessow responded with a trey of his own to give the Lions back the lead at 49-48.

Emporia and the MSSU continued to trade the lead throughout the game.

A Sigmon trey put Southern up 61-58, and the Lions then extended their lead to 7. Southern held the lead until ESU's Atavian Butler hit from behind the arc to tie the game at 67-67 with 1:16 left, but the Lions held on for the 73-70 win.

Macenis led the Lions with 17 points, Sigmon added 16 and Taggart tallied 13. Taggart also added eight assists and two steals in the game.

Comithier finished with a game-high 19 points for the Hornets, while Owen Long added 18. Butler logged 13 points for the Hornets.

The Lions return home for two games, the first at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Northeastern State (6-11, 1-10) and the second at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Rogers State (10-7, 7-4).

The men are 4-0 at home this season.