Number 9 ranked Lions win Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Classing game.

FORT SMITH, Ark. – It took about a half for UAFS to shake off of the rust from its brief holiday break, but the No. 9 Lions finally found their offensive touch in the second half against Nebraska-Kearney, beating the Lopers 86-75 on Friday in the Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Classic at the Stubblefield Center.

UAFS (6-0) will play Missouri Western at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the classic finale, while Nebraska-Kearney (2-5) will play Southeastern Oklahoma at 1 p.m.

The Lions only led 40-38 at halftime, but they shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field (14 of 25) from the field in the second half to break the game open and win the fourth-consecutive game of their six-game, home stand.

UAFS shot 48 percent from the field for the game (29 of 61) – it was 4-of-18 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 86 percent from the free-throw line (24 of 28). Senior guard Ladarius Coleman had a team-high 23 points, while senior guard Darrion Strong-Moore had 19, junior guard Chris Crawford 13 and freshman forward Adam Rivera 12.

The Lions out-rebounded the Lopers by two rebounds (36-34), and senior guard DaVaunta Thomas led the Lions with eight rebounds.

Nebraska-Kearney shot 44 percent from the field (25 of 57) – it was 8-of-28 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 74 percent from the free-throw line (17 of 23). Yahsua Trent had a team-high 25 points, while Lane Rohrich and Trey Lansman had 17 points apiece.

Lansman had a team-high seven rebounds.