NCAA-Bound Lions Roar Down the Stretch
Kearney, Neb. – Six-eleven senior center Slim Magee had 24 points and 20 rebounds to help Missouri Southern State beat Nebraska-Kearney, 87-79, Friday night in an MIAA Tournament Quarterfinal game in Kansas City.
The third-seeded Lions (22-5) advance to face second-seed NW Missouri State Saturday night. The other half of the brackets pits ninth-seed Northeastern State against fifth-seed Central Oklahoma.
Headed to the NCAA Tournament and now winners of seven straight, MSSU trailed 39-38 at the break and 64-59 with 8:49 to go.
To grab that five-point lead, UNK got back-to-back buckets from senior post Mike Dentlinger (Millard North). Late in the first half, the Lopers led 28-21, its biggest advantage of the evening.
Behind Magee, an aptly named 200 lbs. lefty with long arms, Southern closed the game on a 28-15 run. The transfer from Division I South Alabama had 12 of his points in this stretch, four coming after his own offensive rebounds. He started the key surge with four straight points.
UNK trailed 76-72 with 3:14 to play before sophomore reserve Austin Wright hit the ninth and final three of the night for the Lions. Kearney tried to respond with a triple of its own but missed and Magee not only grabbed the rebound but also made a layup at the other end, giving his team its biggest lead of the night to that point.
Magee finished 10 of 12 from the field and 4 of 5 at the line with 15 of his rebounds coming on the defensive end. He also had two blocks and one assists in 27 minutes of work.
Three other Southern starters were in double figures, including senior guard Marquis Addison (20) and junior guard Lane Barlow (13). Barlow also had seven assists with senior forward Jordan Talbert at 11 points, eight boards, five blocks and five assists.
The Lions shot 51% (32 of 63) from the field and, thanks to that late surge, outrebounded the Lopers by eight, 42-33.
In his final collegiate game, Dentlinger hit a three at the buzzer to finish with a team-high 27. He made 10 shots and was 6 of 7 at the line to end with 1,358 career points, 18th in Loper lore.
Next, Ravenna sophomore Conner Beranek had three dunks among his seven made field goals to tally 18 with Norfolk sophomore Ethan Brozek (14 points & 10 rebounds) recording his fifth double double since January 22nd. Finally, Nevada junior Davison Pearson had 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
As a team, UNK shot 44% (29 of 66) from the field and 67% (16 of 24) at the line. They committed just eight turnovers, the third straight game with single digit miscues.
Courtesy UNK Sports Information