January 24, 2004
'Cats Come From Behind, Stop Emporia St. 84-70
MARYVILLE, Mo. - The No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team came from behind to defeat Emporia State 84-70 in a key Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association game Saturday night at Bearcat Arena.
The contest also had regional implications as Northwest is currently No. 2 in the South Central region of NCAA Division II. ESU is currently ranked No. 4 in the region.
The Hornets started red hot. Emporia State hit four three-pointers in the first five minutes of the contest and took an 18-7 advantage. Northwest battled its way back into the contest. Sky Wilson (Jr., Indio, Calif.) hit a pair of free throws with 6:26 remaining in the half to pull the 'Cats within two, 25-23. Two minutes later, a Keanan Weir (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) three-pointer got Northwest within one, 27-26. But Vincent Thomas answered with a trey of his own for Emporia State. That three sparked a 13-2 Hornet run, putting them on top by 11, 40-29 with 1:24 remaining in the first period.
The Bearcats once again battled back. Sky Wilson (Jr., Indio, Calif.) hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds remaining in the half. Wilson's trey was part of a 6-0 Northwest spurt to end the half, pulling the 'Cats back within five, 40-35, at the intermission.
The Bearcats continued clawing away early in the second half. Kelvin Parker (Sr., Raytown, Mo.), the MIAA's leading scorer, scored his first two points of the game on the first Bearcat possession of the second half. Parker's bucket sparked a 12-3 Northwest run to open the half. Parker and Austin Meyer (Soph., Blue Springs, Mo.) each hit three-pointers during the outburst. Meyer scored seven of his 16 points during the first four minutes of the second half. He also capped the run with a three-pointer to put the 'Cats up 47-43.
Northwest would never trail again. Emporia State pulled within one point on two occasions. The Hornets were down one, 56-55, after Tony Travis scored on back-to-back possessions midway through the second half. But a conventional three-point play from Wilson pushed the Bearcat advantage back to four. Wilson's shot also sparked an 11-2 Northwest run, giving the 'Cats a double-digit lead, 67-57, with seven minutes remaining.
Emporia State never challenged again. Each time the Hornets pulled within single digits, Northwest answered. The Bearcats hit eight-of-12 free throws over the final four minutes of the contest to seal the victory.
Parker and Meyer scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, to lead Northwest. Wilson added 14, while Jesse Shaw (Jr., Lincoln, Neb.) and Byron Jackson (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) each tacked on 11. Jackson also had his fifth double-double of the season, recording 15 rebounds.
As a team, the Bearcats held Emporia State, the MIAA's top scoring team, to its lowest output of the regular season.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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