March 4, 2005
Bearcats Bow Out 71-65 in MIAA Opening Round Against Southwest BaptistKANSAS CITY , Mo. -- The No. 5 seed Northwest Missouri State men's basketball went to overtime for the third time this season against No. 4 seed Southwest Baptist but came up short this afternoon, 71-65 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Tournament opening round at Municipal Auditorium. Northwest went the final 7:53 in regulation and the entire overtime stanza without a field goal.
"You have to give credit to Southwest Baptist," said head coach Steve Tappmeyer. "We must be matched pretty well with them since we went to overtime three times this year. We had a lot of guys that battled and I thought the guys effort was good."
Southwest jumped out to a 16-5 lead hitting on its first six shots from the floor with four of them coming from behind the arc. After a Martez Young free throw gave SBU a 21-11 lead at the 10:52 mark, a trey by freshman Joel Osborn sparked a 29-10 Northwest run to end the half. SBU still clung to a 31-30 advantage after the first 20 minutes.
After shooting a sparkling six-of-six to being the game, SBU went six-of-28 to finish the half. The southern Bearcats shot 15 more times than Northwest by intermission but totaled eight offensive boards to zero for Northwest.
A triple by senior Travis Gardner lifted Northwest to its first lead of the game at 37-36 with 18:03 left. From there, a total of seven lead changes occurred in the final 18 minutes of the game. Neither team led by more than four points in regulation. Two charity shots from Gardner tied the game up at 63-63 with 1:47 to go. Southwest had four opportunities to win the contest in regulation but failed.
The extra frame had Southwest never trail as it held Northwest to two Gardner foul shots. SBU connected on three-of-four from the foul stripe in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
Overall, Northwest went 44 percent (21-of-48) from the floor including nine-of-21 (.429) from three-point range. SBU ended 37 percent (26-of-70) from the field including 11-of-45 (.244) from long range. The three-point attempts set a MIAA Tournament record. NWMSU lost the rebounding war 36-40 and turned the ball over a season-high 23 times.
Gardner came away with a career-high 17 points on a four-of-six effort from long range - Gardner totaled 17 points in his previous six games before this afternoon. Osborn posted 13 points with three treys while sophomore Brandon Maxie had 10 points and five rebounds. Senior Jesse Shaw and junior Austin Meyer each corralled a team-high seven rebounds.
First Team All-MIAA choice Sheldon Pace finished with a game-high 20 points on seven-of-15 shooting. Pace nearly missed a double-double with nine assists. Martez Young recorded 14 points.
Northwest wraps up its season at 19-11 overall extending a streak of eight straight years of 15-plus wins.
"I am proud of this team." said Tappmeyer. "I don't think the guys quit all year facing some of the adversity and injuries that we did."
Southwest Baptist plays No. 1 seed Central Missouri State at 6:00 p.m. in the semifinal round tomorrow (Saturday).
NOTES: The SBU win in Tournament play marked its first since Mar. 2, 1993...Northwest added to its school record mark of season three-pointers as it finishes with 268...Senior Travis Gardner's previous career-high was 14 versus Missouri Western, Mar. 6, 2004...The Northwest bench outscored SBU's 30-16... Northwest ends its string of Tournament Championship appearances as it was in the title game in six of the last seven years going into today...The 19 wins snaps a streak of five straight 20-win seasons...The Bearcats fall to 2-3 in Tournament history as the No. 5 seed and 18-12 under coach Steve Tappmeyer...The opening round loss halted a seven-game win streak to open up the Tournament...The three overtime games in one season is the most since the 1998-99 club tallied three...Northwest falls to 13-1 when holding the opponent under 40 percent from the floor...Senior Jesse Shaw ends his career with 958 career points and tied for eighth in career three's (86) and eighth in three-point attempts (234)...Junior Austin Meyer inched closer to the school's career three-point record as he stands with 163, 10 short of the standard.
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