February 15, 2006
Northwest Loses 70-63 at Missouri Western
ST JOSEPH, Mo. - Missouri Western came back from an 18-point first-half deficit and defeated Northwest Missouri State 70-63 tonight at the MWSU Fieldhouse. Northwest, the No. 4 team in the South Central Region, had its seven-game series winning streak snapped.
Northwest falls to 17-8 overall and 8-6 in the conference while Missouri Western improves to 15-9 and 6-7 in league play.
The Bearcats never trailed until two Joe Sisto free throws put Missouri Western up 59-58 at the 2:51 mark of the second half. Northwest could only muster one basket, a 14-footer from junior Victor James, but Warren's final triple of the game, his fourth, was the dagger sparking an 8-0 game-ending spurt.
In the early going, an Austin Meyer put-back handed Northwest an early 14-4 lead with five minutes gone. The Bearcats' advantage ballooned to 18 points after Meyer's 3-pointer and a foul shot from senior Xzavier Gaines put the score at 29-11 with 8:18 remaining. From there, the host Griffons cut into the deficit thanks to three straight baskets.
Meyer, who stood with 10 points at the half, nailed two charities at the two-minute mark to put the Bearcats on top, 38-27. However, two triples by MWSU's Jason Warren and two free throws from Demarius Bolds made it a game at the half with Northwest holding a slim 38-35 lead.
The Griffons and Bearcats traded scores to start the second half. Meyer's bucket at the 14:22 mark gave Northwest a 50-44 edge. But that cushion was short-lived as the Griffons went on a 13-7 run to tie the score for the fourth time in the half, 57-57 under the five-minute mark. The guests took two more quick leads, the last on a Meyer trey, but Northwest failed to answer down the stretch.
Meyer led all scorers with 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting. Three other Bearcats hit for nine apiece, Gaines, junior Mose Howard and James. Sophomore Matt Withers posted a team-high eight rebounds. Warren led three Griffons in double-figures with 15 points and nine boards.
Both teams struggled from the free-throw line with Northwest going 14-of-25 (.560). The Bearcats shot 40 percent overall (21-of-53) from the floor. Missouri Western finished 24-of-56 (.429) overall and was 8-of-25 from three-point land (.320). After going 5-of-10 (.500) in the first half from long distance, Northwest cooled off to 2-of-12 (.167) effort in the final 20 minutes.
Northwest plays its final road game of the regular season with a trip to No. 7 Southwest Baptist on Saturday. Tip-off from Bolivar, Mo., is set for 7:30 p.m. SBU lost 72-65 tonight against Central Missouri State.
NOTES: The overall series is at a virtual dead-lock with Missouri Western holding a slight 31-29 edge … The seven-game series winning streak for Northwest tied the longest for either team … Tonight's game was a match-up between two of the league's all-time wins leaders in coach Smith for Missouri Western and coach Tappmeyer for Northwest - Smith stands first with 429 wins while Tappmeyer is fourth at 343 victories … Having five more turnovers (15-10) than Missouri Western tonight, it was the first time in 25 games this season that stat occurred for Northwest … Coach Smith was whistled for a technical at 7:26 remaining in the first half … Northwest snapped a six-game streak in getting out-rebounded - Northwest was +4 tonight … Redshirt freshman Hunter Henry played 15 minutes and notched six points - he was sidelined the last four games with a foot injury … Junior Reggie Robinson, who leads the team in assists, recorded a team-best four tonight.
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