Men’s basketball wins following double-digit comeback

Lindenwood%27s+Sam+Mader+attempts+to+guide+a+pass+into+Zach+Biggs+underneath+the+basket+during+the+first+half+of+the+team%27s+69-68+win+over+Missouri+Southern.+%0A%3Cbr%3E%0APhoto+by+Carly+Fristoe
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Men’s basketball wins following double-digit comeback

Lindenwood's Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team's 69-68 win over Missouri Southern. 

Photo by Carly Fristoe

Lindenwood's Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team's 69-68 win over Missouri Southern.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

Lindenwood's Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team's 69-68 win over Missouri Southern.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

Lindenwood's Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team's 69-68 win over Missouri Southern.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

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Phil Scherer | Legacy Managing Editor
Jan. 23, 2016; 8:30 p.m.

Lindenwood's Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team's 69-68 win over Missouri Southern.  Photo by Carly Fristoe

Lindenwood’s Sam Mader attempts to guide a pass into Zach Biggs underneath the basket during the first half of the team’s 69-68 win over Missouri Southern.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

The Lindenwood men’s basketball team pulled out the most improbable of victories at the Hyland Arena against Missouri Southern, overcoming a 16-point deficit to win the game in the final seconds.

With just over six minutes remaining in the contest, Missouri Southern guard Austin Wright knocked down a three-pointer that extended his team’s lead to 12 points. From that point forward, the Lindenwood comeback was on.

The rally got started as Lindenwood’s Cory Arentsen went down the court on the very next possession and knocked down a three-pointer of his own to get his team back within single digits.

Following a Stanislas Heili layup and a pair of free throws from LJ McIntosh, it was once again time for Arentsen to once again show off his range, nailing another three-pointed that brought his team within two points.

With just under a minute remaining in the game, Arentsen knocked down a short-range jumper and the game that at one point seemed out of reach had been tied.

After Missouri Southern guard Taevaunn Prince was fouled by Heili on the ensuing possession, he went to the free throw line to give his team the lead.

After hitting the first shot, the second one bounced off the side of the rim and into the waiting arms of Heili, who took possession of the ball with his team trailing by one point.

Three seconds later, it was Heili heading to the free throw line after being fouled after trying to get the ball into the offensive side of the court.

The drama was turned up a notch when Heili saw each of his free throws bounce off the rim.

After the second missed shot, a mad scramble for the rebound ensued. After being knocked around, the ball ended up in the arms of LJ McIntosh near the three-point line. He passed it to Brad Newman, who surveyed the court before finding Arentsen open at the top of the three-point circle.

Arentsen took three steps forward before pulling up at the free-throw line at taking his shot. It went straight through the net, giving Lindenwood a one-point edge with just eight seconds remaining.

Though Missouri Southern got two chances at a game-winning shot, neither reached the rim, giving Lindenwood a huge 69-68 win.

Arentsen may have played the part of the hero down the stretch, but it was the play of forward Sam Mader that kept the Lions in the game during the first 20-25 minutes of the contest.

“Sam kept us in the game early on with his offense,” head coach Lance Randall said. “He made some big shots, created some big shots and really helped out the guys.”

For the game, Mader scored 21 points and collected 11 rebounds, knocking down three clutch three-pointers at crucial times.

Down the stretch, Randall said he was extremely impressed with the resilience his team showed and the toughness they displayed during their comeback.

“The defensive stops down the stretch were really needed,” Randall said. “These guys did a great job finishing the game tonight, which we didn’t against Pittsburg State or against Washburn earlier on the road and tonight we did. That’s definitely part of the growth of a team.”

Lindenwood, which now holds a 9-4 conference record, will continue its schedule Thursday night against Northeastern State on the road, the first of a key four-game road trip.