February 24, 2007
Northwest Wins MIAA Championship With 66-40 Win Over Fort Hays State
MARYVILLE - ( stats) Northwest Missouri State men's basketball, ranked No. 15 in the country, rolled out to a 44-17 halftime advantage and raced to a 66-40 victory over Fort Hays (Kan.) State tonight in the regular season finale. Northwest, who is ranked No. 3 in the South Central Region, grabbed a share of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Championship with the win -- its first since the 2001-02 season and 11th overall. After its win over Washburn tonight, Central Missouri also ended the season tied for the best MIAA record.
Northwest improves to 22-5 on the year and 15-3 in the conference. FHSU falls to 13-14 overall and 6-12 in the MIAA.
Both teams struggled to put points up early as they went on to miss their first six combined shots from the floor. After FHSU scored first and went up 3-0, Northwest sophomore Hunter Henry made good on a lay-up at the 16:38 mark. That basket propelled a 36-6 run that covered most of the first half. During one stretch, the Tigers of FHSU scored just four points over a nine-minute span.
The Bearcats led 44-17 behind 49 percent shooting and forcing 11 turnovers.
After the half, the Northwest lead never shrunk below 20 points as all the bench players saw action. The win was the 16th straight at home and handed Northwest a perfect 14-0 record at Bearcat Arena this season.
Henry finished with his 10th career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds -- the rebounding output tied for 10th all-time in Northwest annals. Junior Andy Peterson came away with 15 points on three treys while junior John Hawkins had 13 and senior Reggie Robinson totaled 11.
No FHSU player scored more than nine points -- Matt Stramel led the club with nine off the bench.
Northwest finished at a 39 percent clip while FHSU shot just 30 percent overall. The Bearcats went 10-of-24 (.417) from three-point range and forced 15 turnovers overall.
Northwest secures the No. 1 seed in the MIAA Tournament to be played at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The Bearcats will take on No. 8-seed Missouri Southern on Thursday at 12 p.m. in the opening round. The two teams split the season series.
NOTES: Northwest ties up the overall series with Fort Hays at 3-3 ... Sophomore Hunter Henry hit for his 23rd straight game over 10-plus points -- he nearly had a double-double at the half with 10 points and nine rebounds ... The 16 rebounds by Henry tied Joe Hurst for 10th on the single-game list -- Hurst grabbed his 16 boards back on Dec. 19, 1985 ... The 14-0 home record is just the third time under coach Tappmeyer (since 1989) the Bearcats have had a spotless home mark ... Northwest moves to 13-0 on the year when Andy Peterson notches over 10 points ... The Bearcats are making their 16th straight appearance in the MIAA Tournament having won the crown back in 2002 and 2004 ... Two Northwest seniors were honored in a pre-game ceremony: Victor James and Reggie Robinson.
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