Jan. 25, 2013
Harris bringing energy as ‘Cats enter final stretch
Tipoff: Saturday 3:30 p.m.
Stadium: UCM Multipurpose Building
Radio: 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)
Central Missouri: RV
Series: The Mules hold a 122-85 lead in the all-time series and is the 208th meeting between the schools, the longest such meeting between MIAA men's basketball teams. UCM has also won the last seven meetings.
Northwest: Ben McCollum (Northwest '03) 56-42 (4th season)
Central Missouri: Kim Anderson (Missouri '79) 222-82 (11th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Unless something goes horribly awry when second place Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team plays at first place Central Missouri at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, freshman Lyle Harris will only see 5 to 10 minutes of action.
The Bearcats are loaded with veteran experience at the guard position. Over the last three games, though, Harris has shown he can help Northwest when called upon.
Whether it is their play on the court or the support from the bench, the Bearcats will need the contributions of every player against the Mules in this early season MIAA showdown.
The Bearcats enter the Multipurpose Building 13-4 overall and 6-2 in the MIAA. Central Missouri is 13-3 and 7-1.
If Harris, who redshirted last season, gets in, expect him to use his speed and power to drive to the basket.
“I think he brings a different type of player,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “He drives a little bit. It lets Conner Crooker slide over where he can play the wing spot and shoot a little more. He plays pretty good defense.”
A week ago, Harris showed what he was capable of late in the game against Lincoln.
Northwest struggled all game at Bearcat Arena against Lincoln. With 2:43 left, the Bearcats faced a 56-44 deficit. Their fate was all but sealed. Harris came off the bench and saw his first action of the game.
Harris provided a spark. He drove hard to the basket and made all four of his high-percentage shots. He helped Northwest close to 68-65 with 19 seconds left.
“My teammates needed me,” Harris said. “That is what we are supposed to do. Players were tired. I came in and just brought energy. I tried to give my teammates high energy so we could come back and get a victory.”
The Bearcats wound up losing 70-65, but Harris gave McCollum another option at the guard position.
In the next game, Harris entered the game in the first half. He played 9 minutes in the game, made both of his shots in a 71-57 victory at Central Oklahoma.
“It makes you feel good,” Harris said. “That is how it is. You work hard and stick with it and that is how you get rewarded.”
Northwest won its second game in a row on Tuesday, beating Southwest Baptist 70-51 in Bolivar, Mo. In that game, Harris played 7 minutes and made the only shot he put up.
In the last three games, Harris is 7 for 7 from the field, proving he is earning the minutes he is getting.
“We will play anybody,” McCollum said. “You just have to earn the minutes. I don’t play favorites.”
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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