Nov. 16, 2013
Men's Basketball defeats William JewellBy David Boyce | Box Score
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team needed a victory.
The Bearcats came into the second night of the Hillyard Tip-Off Classic Saturday evening in St. Joseph on a two-game losing streak after falling to Midwestern State on Friday.
Northwest showed its hunger for a win by scoring the first nine points of the game against William Jewell. But when halftime arrived, the Bearcats were locked in a tied game.
It remained close through most of the second half. In the latter portion of the game, reserved junior forward Grant Cozad used his 6-foot-8 frame and dominated the paint.
Clinging to a two-point lead, the Bearcats consistently found Cozad and he finished. He scored eight straight points that pushed Northwest’s lead to 10 and that was enough for the Bearcats to pull out a 78-71 victory.
“You never want to lose three straight so we needed to focus on this game and get this win,” said Cozard, who finished with a team-high 22 points. “It was a good boost for us. We have to move forward.”
The win evened Northwest’s record at 2-2. The Bearcats get four days off before they return to action 7 p.m. Wednesday at home against Baker.
“This game was pretty important,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “We didn’t play well or real hard. Jewell played really well. They had a great game plan.
“I don’t think we understand that we don’t have a big margin for error. They have a misconception that because we were picked second in the MIAA, we have a margin for error, we can do anything we want and still comeback. We don’t have that. We have to make sure we correct it.”
The critical point in the game came with 7 minutes left. Northwest had built a 60-54 lead and then watched it shrink to 61-59.
Cozad took over. He positioned himself nicely in the paint and his teammates found him. His eight straight points gave the Bearcats a 69-59 lead. Northwest added a free throw to make it 70-59.
“Those last 10 minutes were extremely important for us,” Cozad said. “We started to buckle down and get stops. We hit free throws. That was a big thing. I think the last 10 minutes was the best we played the whole game.”
Cozad gave credit to Dillon Starzl, who set screens to free him open.
“They were trying to take away Dillon,” McCollum said. “I was more impressed with Grant’s rebounding. His defensive rebounding was excellent. We got some huge rebounds and obviously we finished some of those for lay-ups. We did a good job.”
Unlike the first half, William Jewell didn’t have enough time to make up that deficit.
Northwest started the game well, taking a 9-0 lead. But the Bearcats failed to maintain it. Midway through the first half, Northwest led only 18-15. Several minutes later it was tied 27-27.
The game stayed close the rest of the first half and at halftime it was tied 40-40.
Northwest shot well from the field, making 59 percent of their shots. But the Bearcats defense wasn’t as good, allowing William Jewell to make 55 percent of its shots, including four of eight from three-point range.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
email@example.com | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468