January 7, 2006
Northwest Takes Down No. 7 Southwest Baptist 80-68; Snaps 14-0 Start for SBU
MARYVILLE, Mo. - (box score) Northwest Missouri State came back from six points late after holding a 33-20 halftime lead and upset No. 7 Southwest Baptist 80-68 tonight to snap SBU's best start in school history. Southwest Baptist had reeled off 14 straight wins to begin 2005-06. The Northwest win is its 10th straight versus SBU at Bearcat Arena.
Northwest moves to 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Southwest Baptist drops to 14-1 overall and 3-1 in the league.
SBU took a 60-54 lead with 5:29 left in the game before Northwest mounted a comeback. Senior Austin Meyer's first basket of the game, a three-pointer, sparked a 13-3 run as Northwest led 67-63 at the 2:43 mark. SBU was within six at 72-66 after a layup from junior Reggie Robinson with 46 ticks remaining, but SBU head coach Jeff Guiot was whistled for two technicals and ejected. Meyer took advantage by hitting three of four free throws followed by two from junior Mose Howard, who was fouled before the technicals, and at that point Northwest had a 77-66 edge. Northwest held till the end and won its eighth straight home MIAA opener.
The visiting Bearcats took the home crowd out early sprinting out to a 7-0 lead before Northwest scored on a free throw by sophomore Andy Peterson at the 17:27 mark. Two Danny Norman foul shots gave SBU a 19-14 edge under nine minutes left but after that, it was all Northwest in the opening stanza. A Peterson jumper followed by two Meyer free throws and a layup from sophomore Matt Withers ignited a 19-0 spurt that spanned nearly eight minutes. With 1:04 left, Northwest had a 33-19 lead. SBU's Sheldon Pace hit a free throw and Northwest was up 33-20 at the half.
Senior Xzavier Gaines, who played with an injured left shoulder, drove in for two points to give Northwest a 52-44 lead at the 9:01 mark of the second frame. Over the next 3:32, Southwest Baptist scored 16 of the game's next 18 points to go up 60-54 before the Northwest finish.
Howard hit for team-high honors for the second straight game with 17 points on four treys. Meyer, who went for just two points in the first half, finished with 15 points while Withers posted 13 points on five-of-six shooting. Gaines went for his first career double-double with 11 points and a personal-best 11 rebounds.
Pace led all players with 25 points and 11 assists on 11-of-14 shooting. Jason Jemison came away with 19 points after scoring just one point in the first half. Frans Steyn recorded 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Southwest Baptist did have the higher field goal percentage (48.2 - 39.4) but totaled twice as many turnovers as Northwest 22-11. The home Bearcats went 80 percent (20-of-25) from the charity stripe while SBU was just six-of-14 (.429).
The Bearcats stay home for a MIAA contest against Missouri Western next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Griffons came up short tonight versus Central Missouri State, 87-84 to drop to 1-3 in the conference.
NOTES: Northwest now leads the series 27-10 and improves to 15-4 at home ... The last three meetings last season between these programs went to overtime ... Austin Meyer, who holds the three-pointers made mark with 190, set the attempts record with four tonight - he has 486 which passes the 485 of Scott Fleming (2000-03) ... Northwest came into the game as the league's top scoring defense (62.0) while SBU was the MIAA's best scoring offense (86.4) ... With 11 fewer turnovers (11-22) tonight, Northwest has gone all 14 games this season with less than the opposition ... In the last two conference wins, Northwest holds a +24 scoring edge from the free throw line ... Northwest is now 8-0 this season when leading at the half.
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