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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

March 10, 2007

Bearcat Men Advance to NCAA Regional Semifinals with 74-53 Win over Pittsburg State

WARRENSBURG, Mo. - ( stats ) Northwest Missouri State men's basketball hit 54 percent of its shots and advanced to the semifinal round of the South Central Region Tournament with a 74-53 win tonight against No. 5 seed Pittsburg State at the Multipurpose Building on the campus of Central Missouri. Northwest, who is the No. 4 seed, will face No. 1 seed Central Missouri at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

"Pittsburg State is a team we have a lot of respect for," said head coach Steve Tappmeyer. "I think we had a great week of practice and it showed tonight. A lot of guys contributed and we felt that was very important."

Down 16-9, Northwest made a charge starting with a basket by sophomore Hunter Henry at the 13:56 mark. Four minutes later, Northwest led 19-16 after a 10-0 spurt. A lay-up by Joe Bridges brought the Gorillas within one point but that was the closest they would get. A 25-foot 3-pointer by freshman Mike Larsen as the shot clock wound down provided a Bearcat spark. A pair of treys later, both courtesy of MIAA Freshman of the Year Lance Sullivan, and Northwest forced a Pitt State time-out at the 3:45 mark and the Bearcats were up by a 35-23 count.

Northwest led at the half 44-28 behind the strength of 63 percent (15-of-24) shooting including 6-of-10 from three-point land. The inside muscle for Pittsburg State had to sit much of the first half with the two starting forwards plagued with two early fouls. Northwest was able to hold a 20-11 rebounding edge in the half.

The lead never shrunk under 13 points in the second half as Northwest hit 19-of-22 freebies.

Northwest placed five scorers in double-figures with Sullivan's 19 at the top of the heap. Henry and Larsen each put in 12 points while juniors Kelvin Cayruth and Matt Withers each posted 11. Cayruth grabbed a career-best eight rebounds while Withers had seven.

Carlos Taylor was the game's leading scorer finishing with 24 in the losing cause.

After getting out-rebounded by 52 combined in the three previous meetings, Northwest held its own tonight with a 31-30 slight edge. PSU shot just 31 percent (16-of-51) overall and 59 percent (17-of-29) from the free throw line.

Northwest takes on Central, who Northwest is 1-1 against on the year with the win (Feb. 3) snapping the UCM 19-game season-opening winning streak.

Northwest vs. Pittsburg State - March 10, 2007 (NCAA - First Round)

Northwest Team Tournament Notes:

…Northwest moves to 10-13 overall; 10-9 under coach Tappmeyer
…owns six-game opening-round winning streak
…playing in 11th Tournament; 7th in the last 8 seasons
…is 4-3 against teams from the MIAA
…is now 1-1 against Pittsburg State having lost in 1998 regionals
…largest margin of victory in the playoffs (21) - old mark was a 20-point win in the 2004 first round against Eastern New Mexico
…after having a -52 in rebounding in three previous games vs. Pitt State this year; held a +1 rebounding edge tonight.
…is 17-0 this year when leading at the half; won last 21 straight
…1st time 5 players scored in double figures since Missouri Western, Jan. 3
…12th straight time with starting lineup of Henry, Withers, Robinson, Sullivan and Peterson and 19th overall this year - Northwest is 15-4 with the lineup
…11th time held conference opponent under 60 points including 3 of last 4 games
…1st time team had more turnovers (18-15) in a span of 17 games
…held PSU to the lowest FG percentage (.314) since a season-low 27.7 percent against St. Mary on Dec. 4

Northwest Individual Tournament Notes:

Kelvin Cayruth …
4th game in double-figure scoring; 1st since Feb. 3 - span of 8 games
Career-high 8 rebounds
Hunter Henry …
Stretched 10+ scoring streak to 26 straight games.
Lowest scoring output in 7 games
Had 19-straight FT streak snapped - he went 3-of-4 today
Mike Larsen …
5th game this season with 10+ points - first in 7 games
Lance Sullivan …
17th game over 10 points.
Northwest is 6-0 when he makes 3+ 3-pointers
Tied career-high with six rebounds
Posted 15 of his team-high 19 points in the first half
Matt Withers …
Hit for 10th 10-plus point game this season - first in four games
Career-high three blocks

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468