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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

January 26, 2005

Central Missouri Maintains No. 1 spot in MIAA With 86-78 Win Tonight

WARRENSBURG, Mo. - The No. 10 Central Missouri State (14-3, 7-1 MIAA) Mules maintained control of first-place in the MIAA men's basketball standings with a 86-78 victory against Northwest Missouri State tonight at the Multipurpose Building. The Mules used a 31-14 scoring edge from the foul line to garner the win.

Northwest drops to 14-6 overall and 4-5 in the league while Central, who snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series with the 'Cats, improves to 15-3 and 8-1 in conference action.

After the first basket of the game, which came via a three-pointer from freshman Andy Peterson, the Bearcats trailed 3-8 in the early going. A trey by senior Sky Wilson tied the score up at 11-11 at the 13:52 mark before Central Missouri took a 22-16 lead thanks to an 11-5 spurt.

Northwest fought back as it took its second lead of the contest (31-30) at the 2:53 mark after a trifecta by sophomore Brandon Maxie capped a 15-8 run. However, the hosts notched the half's final six points and went into intermission with a 38-33 lead.

The Bearcats got to within two points of Central on six occasions in the first stanza but could not overcome a 6-13 scoring disadvantage from the charity stripe and a 36 percent mark from the field.

The raucous crowd of 4,650 had good reason to cheer after the Mules reeled off nine straight, which finished a 15-0 run, and gave the hosts a 47-33 lead out of the break. A bucket by Peterson at the 15:00 minute mark broke the scoring drought for the 'Cats.

Freshman Matt Withers got the 'Cats back into the game with two straight baskets - his scoring began a 13-7 streak that cut the deficit at eight (46-54). However, the Mules used free throw shooting and timely baskets to expand the lead to 74-58 near the five-minute mark.

After seemingly being knocked out in the first 10 minutes of the second frame, the Bearcats would counter as they scored 15 of the next 17 points in the next 2:30 forcing the Mules into a timeout at the 2:32 mark. Junior Addae Houston notched six points during the run with Wilson adding four. At that point, the score stood 76-73 in favor of the hosts.

Two free throws and a jumper by Central's Michael Hicks gave the Mules an 80-73 edge to give his team some breathing room. But, one of Maxie's three long range bombs with :31 remaining cut the deficit at two (78-80). Forcing to foul, Northwest saw Central connect on all six foul shots in the final stretch to preserve the victory - the Mules went 31-of-37 (.838) from the foul line overall.

Overall, Northwest went 27-of-68 (.397) from the field and 10-of-31 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Central was 24-of-46 (.522) overall and seven-of-18 (.389) on three-pointers. The 'Cats trailed in the rebounding department (35-29) but forced 14 turnovers which lead to 19 points.

Junior Austin Meyer led the Bearcats with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was four-of-12 from three-point land and just five-of-16 overall. Maxie and Wilson each contributed 12 points while senior Jesse Shaw and Peterson added nine and eight, respectively.

The Mules received a game-high 18 points by Mike Suggs as five scorers were over the 10-point mark. Hicks also added nine boards on the night.

Northwest next faces Southwest Baptist to kick off the second half of conference action. Tip-off from Bearcat Arena is set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29. The SBU Bearcats got by Northwest 88-81 in overtime on Dec. 30.

Notes: Despite Northwest winning 10 of the last 11 in the overall series, Central leads 110-81…Foul trouble abounded in the first half, mainly against the visitors; the 'Cats were whistled for 13 fouls in the first 20 minutes…Central entered the game ranked in the top-10 for the first time since the 1995-96 season…Austin Meyer's 12 three-point attempts falls shy of the school-record of 15 set by Louis Jones in 1988…Entering tonight, Northwest was +32 in scoring from the free throw line in the last two games - tonight it was -17 in that category…The 10 three-pointers is the seventh time the Bearcats have had 10 or more this season - they are on pace to break the season mark of 257 set two years ago…Northwest had fewer turnovers than the opposition for the 17th time tonight (9-14) and eighth straight time…Central's Reggie Soward established a MIAA record by hitting 35 consecutive free throws after a six-of-six effot tonight.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468