February 7, 2004
No. 2 Bearcats Fall to Emporia State, 72-55
EMPORIA, Kan. - The No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team dropped a 72-55 decision to Emporia State at White Auditorium Saturday night.
A 17-0 Emporia State run at the beginning of the second half was more than enough for the Hornets to cruise to the victory. Northwest's Travis Gardner (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) opened the second half with a three-pointer, giving the Bearcats a 32-29 advantage. ESU scored the next 17 points, over a four-minute span, taking a 46-32 lead just five minutes into the second half.
Two three-pointers from Aaron Shaw and a trey from Thomas Vincent sparked the Hornet outburst. Sky Wilson (Jr., Indio, Calif.), who was playing with a sore hamstring, hit a three-pointer for Northwest at the 14:18 mark. Wilson's trey spurred a Northwest spurt, which was capped by a Byron Jackson (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) bucket with 10:33 left. Jackson's basket pulled the Bearcats within eight, 51-43. That was the last time Northwest would be within single digits.
An 8-0 Emporia State spurt, finished by another Vincent three-pointer, put the Hornets ahead by 16 and back in control. ESU then cruised to the 17-point victory.
The Hornets built a big lead in the first half, as well. A Shaw three-pointer with just more than four minutes left in the first period gave Emporia State a 29-18 lead. Northwest finished the first half with an 11-0 outburst, tying the game 29-29 at the intermission. Bilal Clarance (Jr., Copenhagen, Denmark) hit a three-pointer during the run. Kelvin Parker (Sr., Raytown, Mo.) tied it up at the first-half buzzer, breaking toward the basket on an inbounds play with just 0.7 seconds remaining in the half.
Parker was the only Bearcat in double figures, scoring 15 points. Northwest turned the ball over 23 times in the contest, leading to 36 points for Emporia State. The Bearcats' 55 points marked its lowest offensive output of the season.
Meanwhile, the Hornets had four double-digit scorers. ESU was paced by Shawn Hermann, who scored 16 points off the bench.
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