March 5, 2004
Meyer, Wilson Lead Northwest Over MSSU 85-74
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The No. 3-seeded Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Sonic/MIAA Postseason Championships with an 85-74 victory over Missouri Southern State Friday night at Municipal Auditorium.
The Bearcats led 67-61 with just more than five minutes left in the contest. Northwest then outscored the Lions 12-4 over a two-minute span to break open the contest and pull away for the victory. Austin Meyer (Soph., Blue Springs, Mo.) hit a three-pointer with 4:42 remaining in the game to start the spurt. Another Meyer trey pushed the advantage to 12 points, 75-63, with just less than three minutes remaining.
Missouri Southern hit three three-pointers in the final 1:09, but it was too little too late. The Bearcats hit eight of 10 free throws over the final 1:20 to put the game on ice. Northwest is now 24-4 overall with the victory.
The Bearcats and Lions battled back and forth for the first five minutes. The score was tied 11-11 six minutes into the game. Northwest grabbed a 13-11 lead on a Byron Jackson (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) bucket. The 'Cats would never trail again, but Missouri Southern would not let Northwest get away.
The Bearcats opened up an 13-point lead late in the first half. Southern cut it to nine, when Mackenzie Sherrel hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer. MSSU continued its momentum early in the second half. The Lions outscored Northwest 14-7 over the first five minutes of the second half, pulling back within two points, 50-48.
Northwest pushed the lead to nine points midway through the second half. Once again, Missouri Southern wouldn't allow the Bearcats to increase its lead any more. Caleb Engelken hit a pair of three-pointers in a span of less than one minute to leave Northwest with a 60-57 lead and just less than 10 minutes left in the game. Northwest was up 67-58 when Jackson converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the seven-minute mark. An Orestus Cavness basket and a Darrell Redmond free throw made it 67-61, setting up Northwest's final spurt to put the game away.
Meyer and Sky Wilson (Jr., Indio, Calif.) led the Bearcats with 18 points apiece. Kelvin Parker (Sr., Raytown, Mo.) added 16, while Jackson tacked on 11. Jackson also led the way on the boards with seven rebounds. Cavness paced Missouri Southern with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Lions fell to 14-14 on the season
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