March 4, 2006
Northwest Falls 65-63 to Southwest Baptist in MIAA Semifinals
KANSAS CITY - Southwest Baptist went on an 18-6 run to start the second half and held on for a 65-63 victory over Northwest Missouri State in the semifinal round of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Men's Basketball Tournament tonight at Municipal Auditorium. Northwest, ranked No. 4 in the South Central Region (March 1), will await its NCAA postseason fate with the announcements to be made at 9:30 p.m. CST tomorrow (Sunday).
Northwest falls to 20-9 overall while SBU jumps to 25-4 on the season. Fans can watch the live video broadcast of the selection show on www.NCAASports.com as eight teams from each region earn the right to play in the NCAA playoffs.
The first half was a close battle with neither team holding more than a five-point advantage. Northwest held the largest lead at 7-2 after two buckets by junior Mose Howard before Southwest Baptist tied the score four times in the final 10 minutes. Two charities from SBU's Sheldon Pace gave his club a 27-26 edge at the half.
A triple from Jason Jemison, one of his seven on the night, sparked the game-changing run for Southwest Baptist out of the locker room. SBU was up 39-28 with 14:22 remaining thanks to a 4-of-5 effort from the floor. Conversely, Northwest went cold for a six minute stretch scoring just one basket, a jumper from junior Reggie Robinson, as SBU took control of the game.
The No. 1 seeded SBU Bearcats pushed their lead to as many as 16, 58-42, at the 5:18 mark before Northwest hit some shots down the stretch to make the game close. Sophomore Andy Peterson scored seven of his 12 points near the end as Northwest scored 21 of the game's final 28 points.
Howard earned team-high scoring honors with 15 to go along with a career-tying eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Matt Withers finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Jemison poured in 27 points as he attempted just one two-point field goal going 8-of-16 from the floor. Pace posted 14 points, seven assists and six boards.
Northwest shot 42 percent from the field and made 10-of-18 (55.6) from the charity stripe. SBU finished 21-of-54 for 39 percent overall and was 10-of-31 (.323) from beyond the arc. Northwest held a 42-34 rebounding advantage.
SBU faces the winner of the game between Central Missouri State / Emporia State in the MIAA Championship at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday).
NOTES: Northwest falls to 0-3 against Southwest Baptist in the MIAA Tournament and 8-8 overall in Semifinal action … Senior Austin Meyer closes in on Russ Miller for sixth place all-time on the Northwest scoring charts - he has 1,279 points, just four away from Miller's total … The Bearcats fall to 2-4 against nationally ranked teams this year as SBU was No. 10 in the country … Northwest tied a season-high with four blocks … Having one more turnover (17-16) than SBU, it was just the second time this year that Northwest has done that … Northwest has now held the opponent under 40 percent shooting in five of its last seven games … Senior Xzavier Gaines, the team's second leading scorer at over 13 points, failed to reach double figures for the third straight game averaging seven points during that span.
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