MARYVILLE, Mo. - ( box score ) Northwest Missouri State men's basketball opened up 2005-06 in emphatic style with a 95-39 rout of visiting St. Mary (Kan.) at Bearcat Arena tonight in the Ryland Milner Centennial Classic. Northwest now moves to 14-0 at home in season-openers under head coach Steve Tappmeyer (since 1988-89). In his Bearcat debut, redshirt freshman Hunter Henry had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Northwest goes to 1-0 on the young season while St. Mary drops to 1-4 overall.
The game stayed close early as neither team could pull away in the first eight minutes. With Northwest leading 13-12, a layup by junior Victor James ignited a 17-0 run and gave Northwest a 30-12 lead with 6:23 left in the first. St. Mary went scoreless for 7:51 during that span. Shooting 49 percent and forcing 13 St. Mary turnovers, Northwest held a 43-19 lead at the half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Bearcats held St. Mary without a field goal until the 16:44 mark in the second running out to a 57-22 lead. The margin never shrunk below 35 points as nine Bearcats found the scoring column.
Northwest shot 59.1 percent (39-of-66) from the floor, the highest mark since a 60.3 clip against Clarke College on Dec. 12, 2004. The Bearcat defense held St. Mary to 29.6 percent (16-of-54) shooting and out-rebounded the guests 42-27.
Senior Austin Meyer, who stands with 973 career points, posted a game-best 18 points on seven-of-13 shooting. James finished with 14 points while sophomore Andy Peterson had 12, senior Xzavier Gaines finished with 11 and sophomore Matt Withers recorded 10. Junior M ose Howard finished with a game-high eight assists and chipped in six points. As a team, Northwest totaled 27 assists.
Brenton Jayatilaka led St. Mary with 13 points on just five-of-13 shooting.
Northwest next plays at the Hillyard Classic hosted by Missouri Western on Nov. 18-19. The Bearcats face Rockhurst on Friday and Baker (Kan.) on Saturday with both starting at 5:30 p.m.
NOTES: This was the first meeting on record between the two programs ... All-time leading scorer Victor Coleman, along with women's leading scorer Janet Moody (Clark), were recognized in a pre-game ceremony as both their jerseys were retired ... The 95 points was the most since a 96-90 overtime win versus Southwest Baptist on Jan. 29, 2005 ... The 56-point victory is the biggest since a 77 point blowout against Manhattan Christian on Nov. 19, 2004 ... The home game to begin the season was the ninth straight for the Bearcats ... The 39 points allowed is the lowest output since Calvary Bible ended with 28 on Dec. 5, 2002.