February 19, 2005
Northwest Drops Home Game 78-73 to Mo. Southern
MARYVILLE, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team hit seven-of-eight free throws down the stretch to thwart a Northwest Missouri State comeback and gain the 78-73 road upset at Bearcat Arena this afternoon. Despite the loss, Northwest still earns a bid into the MIAA Tournament on Mar 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo. The worst the Bearcats could be after the end of next week is the No. 8 seed - they were tied at No. 4 going into today. Junior Austin Meyer notched a game-high 23 points, his fifth 20-point performance this season, on a perfect eight-of-eight effort from the free throw line.
Northwest falls to 17-10 overall and 7-9 in the MIAA. Missouri Southern, who swept the season series for the first time since the 1994-95 team won the only meeting, jumps to 10-17 on the year and 6-10 in league play.
After falling behind early at 7-9, Northwest rattled off a 11-4 scoring run to take a 18-13 edge at the 10:43 mark. The hosts held the lead until a Jeremie Bond lay-up gave Missouri Southern a 26-25 advantage. Two free throws by sophomore Brandon Maxie lifted Northwest back into the lead until Matt Habermehl sunk a trey with one second remaining to notch the score at the half, 36-36.
Both teams were relatively cold from the field in the first 20 minutes. Northwest was 38 percent (13-of-34) while Mo. Southern was 14-of-32 (.438). Meyer tallied 12 points while Tyler Ryerson matched Meyer with 12 by the break.
The Lions hit on its first field attempt in the second stanza off a lay-up by Ryerson. That gave the guests the lead for good despite Northwest coming to within one point on seven different occasions throughout the final 20 minutes of play.
After Habermehl gave MSSU a 71-68 lead with 2:35 remaining, Northwest had three chances to tie but nothing fell. From there, the 'Cats had to foul and hope the Lions would miss from the charity stripe. Overall, Missouri Southern was 23-of-26 (.885) from the foul line after its superb effort (7-of-8) in the final minute.
The guests from MSSU ended the game shooting 47 percent (27-of-58) while Northwest was 33 percent (21-of-64) including an icy 27 percent (8-of-24) in the second half. The 'Cats held a slight 41-38 rebounding edge and forced 13 turnovers.
Joining Meyer in the notable scoring column was senior Jesse Shaw with 14 and junior Addae Houston with 11. Senior Byron Jackson snatched a game-high eight boards, his fifth effort of eight-plus rebounds in his last six games.
The Lions received 17 apiece from Ryerson and Cavness - Cavness added a game-best eight rebounds. Hiram Ocasio chipped in 14 points while Quentin Edwards 10 points.
The Bearcats wrap up the regular season with two more games starting at Missouri Western on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: The Bearcats still hold a 18-10 advantage in the overall series but the home loss halted a nine-game win streak in Maryville...The fourth overall home loss marks the most since the 'Cats were 10-4 in 1998-99...The Lions snapped an eight-game skid with the win this afternoon... The loss was the first in five games when Austin Meyer pours in 20+ points this season...With fewer turnovers than Mo. Southern, Northwest has accomplished the feat in four straight games and 14 out of its last 15...The 10 overall losses is the most for Northwest since the team was 19-10 in 1998-99...Northwest falls to 12-2 when holding more rebounds than the opposition on the year.
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