February 16, 2013 - Emporia State shot 65% from the field in the second half as they overcame an 11 point halftime deficit to defeat Missouri Southern 69-66 in Joplin, Mo. The win evens the Hornets record at 11-11 on the year.
The Hornets trailed most of the first half after falling behind 11-3 to start the game. The Lions lead reached 15 points on two occassions in the opening frame before they settled into a 40-31 halftime lead. Emporia State turned the ball over 11 times and were out scored by 11 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes.
Mo. Southern outscored Emporia State 5-2 to open the second half before the Hornets went on a 13-0 run to take the lead at 46-45 with 14:32 left. The teams traded the lead back and forth until the Lions got back to back scores to take a 51-48 lead with 12:21 left. The Hornets responded with a 9-0 run to go back up 57-51 with 9:56 left.
The Lions had an answer and went on a 10-3 run of their own for a 61-60 lead with 6:42 remaining. Kaleb Wright gave the lead back to Emporia State before Stephen Atkinson scored an old fashioned three point play for Mo. Southern for a 64-62 lead. Paul Bunch tied the game with a pair of free throws with 5:11 left and Wright gave the Hornets the lead for good at 66-64 with two free throws at the 2:08 mark.
Bunch blocked a Jordan Talbert layup with 37 seconds left and Wright gave the Hornets a two possession lead with two free throws with 28.3 remaining. Bunch was called for a goal tend on his block of a Marquis Addison layup with 13.5 second left. Chris Sights was fouled and hit one of two free throws with 11.6 seconds left for a 69-66 Hornet lead.
With a three point lead and time running out, the Hornets fouled RJ Leverette with 1.6 seconds left. He missed the front end of the one and one and gave went out of bounds to the Hornets.
Wright led the Hornets with a game high 23 points on eight of 15 shooting from the field. Bunch had his fifth double double of the year with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sights joined them in double figures with 11 points and a two for two effort from behind the three point line.
The Hornets begin a three game homestand on Wednesday against Pittsburg State. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in White Auditorium.