January 17, 2004
Northwest Gets By Pittsburg State, 72-70 in OT
PITTSBURG, Kan. - The Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 72-70, overtime victory over Pittsburg State at John Lance Arena Saturday night.
The Bearcats were red-hot in the early-going, hitting five of their first six field-goal attempts. Three of those five field goals came from Kelvin Parker (Sr., Raytown, Mo.). Two of Parker's early buckets were three-pointers, which helped stake Northwest to a 15-4 advantage.
The 'Cats continued to pour it on in the first half. Northwest led 15-9, but outscored Pittsburg State 15-6 over a span of 7:14 to take a 17-point advantage. The Bearcats led by 17 twice in the first half, before settling for a 14-point edge at the intermission, 38-24. Parker scored 13 of his career-high 31 points in the first half.
As hot as Northwest was to open the contest, Pittsburg State was even hotter at the beginning of the second half. The Gorillas opened the second period with an 11-0 outburst, pulling them within three, 38-35. The Bearcats didn't score until nearly three minutes had gone by in the second stanza. Parker's layup made it 40-35.
Pitt State pulled within one at 41-40, but the Bearcats wouldn't give up the lead. Another Parker layup with 12:13 remaining in the game even built the Northwest lead back to seven, 50-43. The Gorillas wouldn't go away. A pair of Wes Thornton free throws capped a 10-3 PSU spurt and tied the game at 53-53 with 6:10 to go. With the game tied 59-59, Eddie Jackson hit a three-pointer for the Gorillas to give them their first lead, 62-59, since the opening seconds of the game when they lead 2-0.
The Bearcats pulled within one, 62-61 on a Jesse Shaw (Jr., Lincoln, Neb.) layup with 1:28 left. Jackson hit one of two at the line for Pitt State at the 0:26 mark to give his team a 63-61 advantage. The Bearcats' Keanan Weir (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) drew a foul with 17 seconds remaining and hit both free throws to tie the game at 63-63. Weir then blocked PSU's last-second shot, forcing overtime.
Midway through the overtime, each team had scored four points and the contest was tied 67-67. Thornton then converted an old-fashioned three-point play for the Gorillas at the 2:11 mark, putting them on top 70-67. A pair of Sky Wilson (Jr., Indio, Calif.) free throws pulled Northwest back within one, 70-69 with 1:28 to go in the extra period.
The Bearcats took advantage of two straight Pittsburg State turnovers to regain the lead and extend it. With 24 seconds left Parker scored his 30th and 31st points on a drive in the paint after a Gorilla turnover. After a timeout, Northwest came out in a 3-2 zone. Pitt State Greg Campbell tossed the ball right to the Bearcats' Victor James (Fr., Crowley, Texas), who was immediately fouled with just four ticks left on the clock. James hit one of the two free throws to make it 72-70. Jackson's jumper at the buzzer was short, allowing Northwest to escape with the two-point, overtime victory.
Shaw was the only other Bearcat in double figures, scoring 14 points to go along with Parker's 31. Shaw also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Thornton led four Gorillas in double figures with 19 points.
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Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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