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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

February 8, 2006

Northwest Survives 101-101 2OT Battle At Emporia State

EMPORIA, Kan. - Northwest Missouri State knocked down a season-high 17 3-pointers and got a career-best 31 points from senior Xzavier Gaines in pulling out a 108-101 double overtime win at Emporia State tonight in men's basketball action from White Auditorium. Northwest fought back twice from double-digit deficits to snap its four-game losing skid.

Northwest wins its fourth straight against Emporia and moves to 16-7 overall and 7-5 in the MIAA. Conversely, Emporia falls for the fifth consecutive time in league action and stands 14-10 on the year and 4-7 in the conference.

Gaines played a pivotal role in the second overtime, scoring seven points including five straight down the stretch. His jumper in the lane at the 1:03 mark gave the Bearcats a 102-98 cushion, a lead it would never relinquish. Gaines and senior Austin Meyer each hit two straight foul shots at the end and handed Northwest its first overtime win in four tries this year and first since Jan. 29, 2005.

Thanks to seven points from ESU's Shawn Herrman in the first two minutes of the game, the host Hornets took a 10-2 edge. A triple from Tyrell Sledge pushed the ESU lead to 15-4 at the 16:39 mark before Northwest whittled away the deficit.

Breaking nearly a four-minute scoring drought, Gaines' 3-pointer sparked a 17-2 run capped by a trey from Meyer. Northwest hit three of its eight first-half three-pointers during that spurt and the guests went up by a 21-17 count at the midway point.

The Bearcats never trailed the rest of the first half, finding an answer for every Emporia basket. Northwest took a 42-37 lead into the break courtesy of 23 combined first-half points from Gaines and junior Mose Howard.

Much like the first 20 minutes, Northwest looked sluggish in the second half falling down by as many as 14 (61-47) with 14 minutes remaining. A triple from sophomore Andy Peterson, who netted a career-best 22 points, began a 41-24 Northwest run. After a bucket from sophomore Matt Withers put the Bearcat lead at 88-85, Sledge knocked down a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to tie the score at 88-88. Northwest pushed the ball down the court and, after a Gaines miss, a Robinson follow-up that went in was ruled late after the horn sounded.

The teams went to double overtime after Emporia came back from four points down in the final 1:10. A tip-in from Ryan Blevins off a Sledge miss with 23 ticks showing tied the count at 95-95.

After Herrman hit one free throw to give his team a 96-95 lead in the second overtime, senior Victor James put his team up for good at the 3:34 mark. The hosts went 1 for 8 from the field after the James basket and turned the ball over three times to total 17 for the game.

The Bearcats attempted a school-record 38 threes, converting 45 percent of them. Meanwhile, ESU went 16-of-39 (.410) from downtown. The 33 combined made 3-pointers fell one shy of the conference high of 34 accomplished two years ago. Both teams shot the ball well from the charity stripe, with ESU hitting 83 percent (29-of-35) and Northwest at 79 percent (23-of-29).

Howard finished with 23 points on five treys. His four assists tied for the team-lead and aided Northwest to total 23 assists. Herrman and Sledge tied for ESU team-high scoring honors with 27 apiece. Herrman, who grabbed 10 boards, tied a 51 year-old school made free throw's record going 17-of-21 from the foul line. Leroy Dawson ended with 24 points and 10 rebounds followed by the 13-point, 12 rebound effort from Blevins.

Northwest travels back to Maryville for the next-to-last home game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 11. Northwest and Missouri Southern tip-off at 3:30 p.m. from Bearcat Arena. MSSU upset Central Missouri State tonight 62-54.

Combined with the Truman State loss at Missouri Western tonight, Northwest sits .5 games back of third-place Truman and 1.5 games behind Central Missouri.

NOTES: Northwest leads the overall series 26-17 having won four of the last six meetings in Emporia … Austin Meyer inches closer to the sixth spot in career scoring list as he is seventh with 1,230 points, Russ Miller has 1,282 … The Bearcats were sixth in the latest South Central Region (Feb. 8) polls - the top eight teams advance to the NCAA Regionals … The last time these two teams met, Northwest won 72-67 for its fifth straight win, but since then lost four in-a-row before tonight … The Bearcats went with their eighth different starting lineup and their first new one in 10 games with Reggie Robinson and Victor James in the starting five … Northwest went to its fourth overtime game this season, tying the MIAA record shared by seven other teams - it was the first since the 1979-80 team … The 100-point game was the first since a 100-56 win against Haskell (Dec. 1, 2004) and it was the first time both teams notched 100 since Feb. 20, 1993 when Northwest won 103-100 in overtime against Missouri-Rolla … The 17 treys is three shy of the school record of 20 done against Manhattan Christian on Nov. 19, 2004 … It was the seventh time this year Northwest went over 10 triples.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468