Jan. 9, 2007
Northwest Travels to Rival-Missouri Western
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State (9-2, 1-1 MIAA) takes on rival-Missouri Western (6-4, 1-1 MIAA) in the Bearcats' first road game of the conference season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday inside MWSU Fieldhouse. Northwest has won 10 of its last 11 games against the Griffons.
Northwest is 5-0 outside of Maryville this season, including two wins against ranked teams on their home court. The Bearcats handed then 10th-ranked Southern Indiana its second home loss in 21 games in late November. Northwest beat Nebraska-Omaha, then and now No. 12, by 20 on its home court in mid-December.
The Bearcats were 6-3 on the road in the MIAA in tying for a conference crown last year, which included a 69-61 victory against Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Northwest has won three of its last four games at MWSU Fieldhouse.
Hunter Henry shined in the home-and-away series last year against the Griffons, scoring 17 points in Maryville and 23 points in St. Joseph. The Bearcats didn't trail in the second half of last year's road contest and outrebounded Missouri Western by 10.
Classes don't begin at Missouri Western until Jan. 14, but expect to see plenty of color in the stands Wednesday. The Griffons Web site is encouraging its fans to wear gold. Missouri Western is 4-1 at home this season.
The Griffons started 5-1 but have since lost three of four. The Griffons beat Washburn by a point in their MIAA opener before losing 77-71 at Missouri Southern Saturday. Northwest hosts Washburn and Missouri Southern in its next two games.
Senior big man Jay McFarland had to wait until the second semester to begin his season, but has responded with 28 points in his first two games. He had a team-high 19 points against Missouri Southern.
Sophomore forward Reggie Bunch ranks third in the league in scoring and fourth in rebounding, averaging 19.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Bunch has reached double figures in all 10 games this season and has three double-doubles. Junior guard Lonnel Johnson has hit 24 3-pointers and ranks second in the MIAA in steals.
Andy Peterson had 17 first-half points en route to tying his season-high of 20 for the Bearcats against Fort Hays State Saturday. The senior guard hit four 3-pointers and was 7-of-12 from the field in leading his team to the win. Henry and sophomore guard Lance Sullivan chipped in 12 points apiece.
The Bearcats' trapping defense has forced 46 turnovers in two league games and it helped lead to 27 points off turnovers against Fort Hays. Northwest has yet to commit more turnovers than its opponents this season and ranks 18th nationally with 13.1 turnovers per game.
Missouri Western has scored more than 70 points in all five of its home games this season. Northwest has allowed just one opponent to reach 70 points and has the fifth-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing 56.4 points per game.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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