November 4, 2006
Bearcats Fall 87-59 to Division I Bradley in Exhibition
PEORIA, Ill. - (stats) In its only game against a NCAA Division I opponent this season, Northwest Missouri State fell in exhibition action 87-59 at Bradley (Ill.) University, a team that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the Division I tournament last season.
The Division II matchup is the second for Bradley this season, after it defeated defending Division II national champion Winona (Minn.) State 90-77 earlier this week in exhibition. The Division I opponent for Northwest is the first since Nov. 10, 2004, when the Bearcats lost to the Missouri Tigers 100-73 in Columbia, Mo., in an exhibition game.
The Bearcats opened with 10 unanswered points, led by junior Andy Peterson with two three-point field goals. Sophomore Hunter Henry also contributed four points in the early lead. Northwest built a 12 point lead eight minutes into the game after Henry put in his third field goal of the game.
The Braves picked up their first points at the charity stripe, where Daniel Ruffin converted three free throws with 15:16 remaining in the first period.
The Bearcats preserved a lead for 14 minutes, until Bradley's Andrew Warren made two free throws to give the Braves their first lead of the game at the 5:25 mark in the first half, part of a 15-2 run by the Braves.
Northwest entered the locker room trailing 43-28. The Bearcats committed 20 turnovers compared to eight by Bradley in the first half, but held advantages in all shooting areas, including 90-percent from the free throw line on 9 of 10 shooting. Both teams recorded 19 rebounds.
Bradley increased its lead to 21 early in the second half, outscoring Northwest 13-6 in the first five minutes of the half. Junior Matt Withers scored all his eight points in the second half, including two back-to-back field goals to bring Northwest within 20 at the 9:52 mark. Henry, who scored 12 in the first half, managed only two points to score the next Bearcat basket two minutes later at 7:31.
The Braves rattled off 12 points against two from the Bearcats, to take a 32-point lead with five and a half minutes left. Both teams exchanged field goals within the final five minutes, with freshman Mike Larsen making a half court shot in the final second, his only trey of the game, to end the game at 87-59.
Henry led Northwest players with 14 points, while junior Dillon Higdon led rebounders with seven. The Bearcats allowed only six turnovers and made five steals in the second half, both advantages over the Braves in that period.
The Braves were led by Daniel Ruffin with 23 points, who used four three-point field goals and went nine of 11 at the charity stripe. Matt Salley tallied 11 rebounds to lead both teams.
Northwest will begin regular season action against Upper Iowa on Nov. 17 in a 7:30 p.m tip-off. The game will be the opener for the Ryland Milner Classic
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