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MSSU men's basketball team outlasts Gorillas

Feb. 19—The Missouri Southern men's basketball team finished with five players in double figures as it completed a two-game sweep of the Pittsburg State Gorillas with a 75-72 win Saturday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

The first quarter was tight until MSSU opened up a 25-17 lead off a Parker Long trey. The Lions extended their lead to 9 points at 27-18 off a Lawson Jenkins bucket with 4:54 left.

Pittsburg State (15-9, 11-7) battled back to within 2 points off a Brayden Redd free throw to make it a 31-29 game. Southern's Avery Taggart hit a trey with 35 seconds left to make it 34-29, and two Martin Macenis free throws put the Lions up 36-29 at the half.

A Jeramy Shaw score and a 3-pointer from Jordan Frison moved PSU to within 2 points of the Lions at 36-34, followed by an R.J. Forney trey that gave PSU a 37-36 lead — its first of the game.

The Lions (12-12, 10-8) regained the lead at 41-40 off a Vinson Sigmon Jr. free throw a few minutes later and then extended it to 44-40 off a Darius Dawson score at 15:25.

PSU stayed within reach of the Gorillas and soon tied the game at 50-50 with a Shaw trey at 12:28, but Taggart responded for the Lions with a 3-pointer of his own at 12:11 to give the Lions a 53-50 edge.

The last eight minutes continued the back-and-forth and the teams were tied again at 70-70 with less than a minute left to play.

A Shaw jumper at 1:32 gave the lead back to the Gorillas, but back-to-back scores by Long gave the advantage to the Lions at 74-72 with 20 seconds left. A Macenis free throw gave MSSU its third straight victory with the 75-72 win.

Dawson led the Lions with 18 points. Sigmon, Macenis and Taggart had 13 each and Long added 11 points and four assists.

Shaw finished with 28 points for the Gorillas. Deshaun English II added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Forney chipped in 12 points.

The Lions travel to Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday before a road game Saturday against Fort Hays State in Hays, Kansas. They return home Wednesday, Feb. 28, to play Washburn.