March 3, 2006
Bearcats Advance to MIAA Semifinals With 72-49 Win Over Missouri Western
KANSAS CITY - Northwest Missouri State men's basketball limited Missouri Western to a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Tournament record for fewest field goals in a game (14) and lowest field goal percentage (26.4) in the 72-49 victory in the first round at Municipal Auditorium. After holding just a 30-25 margin at the half, Northwest outscored the Griffons 42-24 in the second frame.
Northwest improves to 20-8 overall and notches its 15th 20-win season and the eighth under head coach Steve Tappmeyer. Missouri Western ends its year at 17-11 overall.
Missouri Western had trouble scoring early and often making just one free throw in the game's first four minutes. At that point, Northwest built a 7-1 lead. A triple from Missouri Western's J.R. Reed cut the deficit to 15-14, but Northwest would take control from there.
Beginning with a basket from redshirt freshman Hunter Henry at the 8:48 mark of the first, the Bearcats went on a 13-4 run to take a 28-18 edge. MWSU notched seven of the half's final nine points going into the intermission and only trailed 30-25 despite hitting just 26 percent (8-of-31) of its shots.
Missouri Western kept things close in the first half with five more points from the foul stripe and two more treys than Northwest.
Derrick Melton's 3-pointer with 16:08 remaining in the game still gave the Griffons hope down just three (33-30), however senior Xzavier Gaines copied Melton on the other end and his trey jump-started a 39-14 run for Northwest. During one stretch, MWSU hit just one field goal in over eight minutes. Overall, the Griffons connected for six field goals in the final 20 minutes.
Northwest, who hit for 46 percent (26-of-57) from the floor, held a dominating 44-29 advantage on the boards.
Junior Victor James led the club with 11 points while four other Bearcats totaled 10 points. Henry went for 10 points and nine rebounds while senior Austin Meyer had eight points and nine rebounds.
Demarius Bolds finished with a game-high 13 points but on 3-of-18 shooting.
Northwest makes its 16th trip to the Semifinals with a date against No. 1 seed Southwest Baptist. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday. SBU pulled out a 67-52 opening-round win over Pittsburg State earlier in the day.
NOTES: Northwest came into the game ranked No. 4 in the Southwest Region (March 1) while Missouri Western was No. 10 … Northwest did not attempt a free until Matt Withers toed the line at the 19:46 mark of the second period … The Missouri Western shooting percentage was the lowest for a Northwest opposition this season … Northwest improves to 10-1 when holding the opponent under 40 percent from the floor … Senior Austin Meyer needs nine more points to take over No. 6 on the Northwest career scoring list - Meyer has 1,274 points … The Bearcats are 4-1 in their last five meetings with Missouri Western in the Tournament … This game marked the first for Northwest as the No. 4 seed in the Tournament … The 11 points scored from junior Victor James was the most since he went for 14 in the season-opener against St. Mary (Kan.) on Nov. 15.
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