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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release


Jan. 14, 2013

Having fun with Matt Wallace

Game Central

Tipoff: Wednesday 7:30 p.m.
Bearcat Arena
Bearcat Radio Network
John Coffey (play-by-play), Matt Gaarder (color);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.

Rankings (NABC Top 25)

Northwest: 24
Lincoln: NR
Series: The Bearcats hold a 37-28 all-time advantage against the Blue Tigers and have won the last 12 meetings.

Ben McCollum (Northwest '03) 54-41 (4th season)
Lincoln: John Redmond (Wayne State (Neb.)'76 ) 12-67 (4th season)

Game Quick Links

By David Boyce

On the basketball court, Northwest Missouri State sophomore point guard Matt Wallace plays under control. He plays with discipline.

Even in the 71-58 loss at Missouri Western on Saturday, Wallace never entered panic mode.

In fact, at one point late in the second half, he surveyed the court, looked at all options before shooting a long three-pointer. He made it and closed the gap to 62-56 with 3:34 left.

“It was kind of a desperation shot,” Wallace said. “Nobody was open and nobody was covering me so I decided to pull the trigger on it.”

Actually, it was Wallace making the right decision at the right time.

“He is able to make adjustments during a game,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “He is a good passer.”

The statistics bear it out. In 14 starts, Wallace has 80 assists and only 36 turnovers.

As the Bearcats prepare for their return home, the goal of the team is to get the ball back inside. Northwest, 11-3 overall and 4-1 in the MIAA, faces Lincoln,2-14 and 1-5, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bearcat Arena.

“We definitely need to get the ball inside more,” Wallace said. “That is kind of our main thing. We didn’t do it Saturday and that was our biggest problem.

“We have to practice with more energy and make sure our energy level is high the whole practice so we don’t come out slow.”

For a player only at the halfway point of his second year of college basketball, Wallace is taking a very wise approach to the next game. It does not surprise McCollum.

“He has come a long ways mentally and emotionally, just being more positive and more mature,” McCollum said. “He has continued to grow and mature. He’s going to keep doing that.”

There is one area where Wallace is a free spirit. His teammates know what it is and so do his parents and coach.

It is his hair.

Last year he had a bushy beard and then later cut it all off. Wallace now has a Mohawk with blonde highlights.

“I’ve had the Mohawk a couple of times,” Wallace said. “It has never been this long or have the blonde in it. My mom is not too happy about it and neither is grand mom.”

McCollum, who has the same hairstyle as he did when he was playing for Northwest, chose his words carefully when talking about Wallace’s newest hairstyle.

“Holy Cow,” McCollum first said.

And then he elaborated.

“We are a pretty straight laced program,” McCollum said. “I don’t really like self-expression but I am believer in letting people be who they are to an extent. I think when you try to control and eliminate things from people, I think you lose your power over them and they don’t trust you as much.”

When you watch the Bearcats, you can clearly see the players and the coaches trust each other.

Wallace is just being a college student and having fun on and off the court.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468