Jan. 16, 2007
Northwest Hosts First-Place Southern Tonight
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State has a chance to knock off one of the MIAA leaders tonight on its home court as the 20th-ranked Bearcats host Missouri Southern at 7:30 p.m.
Missouri Southern (9-4, 3-1 MIAA) started 3-0 in league play, including a 12-point win against Pittsburg State, before falling to Central Missouri last weekend. The Lions led the defending co-champions by 12 with eight minutes to play but were outscored 28-5 the rest of the way.
Southern, the last unbeaten team in league play, fell into a first-place tie with Central Missouri and Southwest Baptist. First place and last place in the league standings are separated by two games.
In the middle of the standings are the Bearcats (10-3, 2-2 MIAA) whose three losses have all come at home this season. Northwest was 14-0 on its home court last season.
Northwest is coming off its worst shooting performance and lowest scoring output of the season in a five-point loss to Washburn Saturday. The Bearcats were 5-of-30 from 3-point range and shot 32 percent from the floor. The Ichabods scored the game's first 12 points and fought off a second-half rally to earn the win.
Andy Peterson, one of Northwest's top 3-point shooters, will miss his second game with a back injury. Look for the Bearcats to push inside to forward Hunter Henry, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds in three games against Missouri Southern last season. Henry managed six shots in Saturday's loss at Washburn.
Both teams will try to cause havoc on defense but will do so in different ways. Missouri Southern will use a full-court press to force turnovers while Northwest will look to trap in the half-court setting. The Lions and Bearcats rank 1-2, respectively, in steals in the MIAA.
The leading scorer on the court will be Southern guard Tony Webb, whose 16.9 points per game rank sixth in the league. Henry paces the Bearcats with 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Opponents are shooting better against the Lions than any other team in the MIAA at 47 percent. Northwest opponents have hit no fewer than seven 3's in each of the last four games. Missouri Southern averages a league-low four per game.
The Lions are the best free-throw shooting team in the league and their field goal percentage of 48 percent ranks second. Missouri Southern averages 83 points per game. Only two teams have reached 70 against Northwest this season.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
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