February 21, 2007
Late Run Secures 69-61 Victory Over Rival Missouri Western
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - ( stats) No. 15 Northwest Missouri State men's basketball limited Missouri Western to three field goals in the game's final nine-plus minutes, securing a 69-61 victory tonight at the MWSU Fieldhouse. MWSU connected on eight free throws during that time span but Northwest stayed in a tie for first-place in the league winning for the 10th time in 11 meetings in the series.
Northwest goes to 21-5 overall and 14-3 in the league. MWSU falls to 12-14 and 5-12 in the conference.
Missouri Western rattled off some quick three's to take a 24-17 lead at the 8:45 mark. Of its 11 first-half field goals for MWSU, five of them were behind the arc.
However, Northwest went on a 20-3 run in the half's final eight minutes and led 37-27 at the break. Junior Andy Peterson nearly had a double-double at the half with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Two buckets by junior Matt Withers sandwiched a runner by senior Reggie Robinson and Northwest had a 42-32 lead early in the second half. But, the Griffons chipped away and tied the score on two occasions, the last at 50-50 with 5:07 remaining.
Senior Victor James and freshman Lance Sullivan both made a short jumper to ignite a 13-1 spurt for Northwest. The momentum was all Northwest as three different Bearcats teamed up to convert 9-of-10 free throws in the final two minutes.
Sophomore Hunter Henry, who posted 12 points in the game's final five-plus minutes, led all scorers with 23 points and added seven boards. It was his ninth game over 20 points this season. Peterson finished with 14 points and nine rebounds and Withers gathered 13 points for his fourth 10-plus game in six contests.
Jay McFarland led the Griffons with 19 points and five rebounds. Joe Manthe came away with 13 points on four treys.
Northwest won the war on the boards, 34-24 and did not allow Missouri Western an offensive rebound in the first half - MWSU finished with two in the game. Northwest also forced 16 turnovers and had 14 points off of turnovers.
"That (offensive rebounds ) was a big stat," said head coach Steve Tappmeyer. "Controlling the defensive boards was big."
Northwest finishes the regular season with Senior Night against Fort Hays (Kan.) State on Saturday. Tip-off from Bearcat Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. The Bearcats stand 13-0 this year at home and have won 15 in-a-row.
NOTES: The overall series with the Griffons is in the favor of Northwest, 32-31… In the latest South Central Region poll announced today (Feb. 21), Northwest stayed put at No. 3 … Northwest improves to 12-3 with the starting lineup of Robinson, Peterson and Sullivan at guard; Henry and Withers at forward… Sophomore Hunter Henry had his 22nd straight game of double-figure games after his tip-in at the 11:51 mark of the second half … Missouri Western attempted its first free throw of the game with 18:52 left … The Northwest starters scored 63 of the 69 points … The Bearcats won their 18th straight when leading at the half.
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