December 31, 2005
Bearcats Lose MIAA Opener
WARRENSBURG, Mo. - The Northwest Missouri State men's basketball team dropped a double overtime thriller 99-94 to No. 11 Central Missouri State this afternoon in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics
Association (MIAA) opener for Northwest. Central Missouri's Michael Hicks, the league's leading scorer,
poured in a game and career-high 34 points.
Northwest drops to 9-3 on the year and 0-1 in the MIAA while Central improves to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
With the score tied 9-9 at the start, Central Missouri went on an 11-4 spurt over a span of 4:30 to take a
20-13 lead with 12:18 remaining. After senior Xzavier Gaines hit from downtown to whittle the CMSU lead to one at 23-22 with just under 10 minutes, CMSU's Michael Hicks sank a three of his own to ignite a 15-7
run to end the half.
Central held a 38-29 edge at the break thanks to a defense that held Northwest to 33 percent shooting and
a -6 margin on the boards.
The Bearcats struggled to score out of the locker room going 3:40 spanning both halves without a point. By
that time, the Mules took their largest lead 42-29. After increasing it to 14 points, CMSU ran into trouble committing three turnovers in four minutes. Northwest took advantage scoring from behind the three-point line. In the second half, the Bearcats dropped in six treys and outscored the Mules 44-35.
A fast-break lay-up by sophomore Andy Peterson had Northwest back in it capping a 16-6 run late in the
second half. After Peterson's basket, the score was tied 64-64 with 6:03 to go. Central's next three plays
yielded no points and one of senior Austin Meyer's six three's gave Northwest its first lead since the
opening minutes at 67-64.
With under a minute and the score tied at 73-73, both teams had a chance to win. However, a missed shot by Northwest and a turnover by Central put the game into overtime.
In the overtime, Gaines took a hard foul and was forced to leave at the 1:41 mark. In his absence,
junior Mose Howard hit one of two foul shots to bring Northwest to a 77-80 count. After a tip-in by CMSU's
Alonzo Brooks, Meyer again hit a three to get Northwest within two points. CMSU hit one of two foul
shots to take an 83-80 lead but Howard banked in a trey from the top of the circle with 11.4 seconds
remaining and his clutch shot forced a second overtime.
Hicks opened up the second extra session with a conventional three-point play. He hit his seventh
trifecta before Matt Withers hit two free throws to cut the deficit to four. Two foul shots by Peterson
cut the gap at two points, 92-94 at 1:28 but two lay-ups by Rooks provided enough of a cushion for the
Meyer ended with his fourth career double-double and first of the year with a personal-high 30 points and
13 rebounds. Meyer went 12-of-22 from the floor and six-of-13 from downtown. Gaines was one point shy of a career-high as he posted 20 points on four treys. Howard gathered 13 points while Withers had 12.
Brooks complimented the scoring by Hicks with 17 of his own and Theo Jones added 15 and Wadale Williams came away with 13.
Overall, Northwest went 34-of-85 (.400) from the field compared to 47.8 percent (32-of-67) for Central
Missouri. The Bearcats hit a season-high 12 three-pointers, nine of those coming after halftime.
Northwest set a school-record with 35 three-point attempts breaking the 34 done against Manhattan
Christian of last year.
Central owned a +10 edge scoring from the foul line as it went for 14 more attempts.
Northwest stays on the road for the second straight time in the conference with a tilt at Washburn on
Wednesday, Jan. 4. Tip-off from Topeka, Kan., is at 7:30 p.m. The Ichabods stand 0-2 in the league.
NOTES: The first foul in the game was whistled at the 14:44 mark of the first - Northwest did not commit a
foul until 10:49 in the first stanza … Northwest has trailed at the half just twice this year before
tonight … Central wins its third straight in the series and improves to 112-81 against Northwest …
Northwest drops its league opener for the second straight season … The six three-pointers by Austin
Meyer is two short of a school record of eight he tied last season … The two Northwest players with 20-plus
points is the first since Mose Howard (21) and Reggie Robinson (20) did it against Rockhurst on Nov. 18 …
Meyer became the first Bearcat since MIAA MVP Kelvin Parker notched 31 against Pittsburg State on Jan. 17, 2004 … The game marked the 12th straight time Northwest forced more turnovers as CMSU had 16 to the 11 by the guests …The loss was the first this year when Northwest held a rebounding advantage after a
46-43 edge today … All 10 starters scored a combined 170 of the 193 total points in the contest … Northwest is now 0-2 in overtime games this season having lost a 90-81 contest against Rockhurst on Nov. 18 … The 99 points allowed is the most since giving up 109 in the loss to Emporia State on Jan. 29, 2003.
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