After trailing by just five, 48-43, at halftime at Missouri Southern State, the Truman State University men's basketball team was outscored by 24, 58-34, in the second half en route to a 106-77 defeat.
The Lions simply couldn't miss and converted on 64.4 percent (38-of-59) of their looks from the field, which is the highest mark by a Bulldog opponent since Feb. 23, 2017 when Quincy shot 64.8 percent (35-for-54) from the floor.
With the loss, Truman (4-5) had its four-game winning streak snapped and has not fared well against its former conference this season.
The Bulldogs have dropped all three of their games against the MIAA this year, all of which were on the road, including Northwest Missouri State, Washburn and Missouri Southern.
Those same three teams were picked as the top three finishers by both the league's coaches and media in the preseason.
On the other side, Missouri Southern (7-1) was won seven in a row, 13 straight against the Bulldogs and leads that all-time series, 30-17.
After shooting nearly 60 percent at 58.6 (17-of-29) in the first half, Missouri Southern still found a way to shoot better with an unheard clip of 70 percent (21-for-30) in the second.
The Lions also converted on 55.2 percent (16-of-29) of their looks from behind the arc and 14 of their 17 free throw attempts (82.4 percen
Truman was able to keep up in the first frame with a field goal percentage of 52.0 (13-for-25), but that number fell to 36.4 (12-of-33) in the second period. The Bulldogs were outrebounded by 16, 37-21, including 31-18 on the defensive glass.
Cade McKnight tied his career high with 24 points and Brodric Thomas added 21 in his first 20-point game since dropping 23 vs. Lewis in the GLVC Tournament back on March 2. McKnight and Thomas' combined 45 points represented 57 percent of Truman's offensive output on Tuesday night.
In the beginning, there were four ties and two lead changes in the first 22 points scored. Once it was 11-11 at the 14:59 mark, Missouri Southern scored nine-straight points to go up, 20-11.
Truman hung around, though, as the Lions pushed their lead to nine four more times after that. The fourth time came at 30-21 and the home team was able to take it even further, this time to 13, 34-21, with just under seven minutes left in the hal
This time, the Bulldogs had an even stronger response and scored 16 of the next 20 points to pull within one, 38-37, at the 3:19 mark. However, the Purple and White were never able to tie it, Missouri Southern scored 10 of the next 16 points and went into the locker room with that five-point advantage.
Out of the intermission, the Lions used a 16-4 spurt of their own to take a commanding 17-point lead, 64-47. After that, the Bulldogs could never get closer than 14 before the final margin of 29.
Next up, Truman will host Central Christian on Friday with the start time set for 5 p.m. inside Pershing Arena.
Courtesy Truman State University