Feb. 27, 2008
Northwest Leaves No Doubt on Senior Night
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State shot 73 percent in the first half, led 57-28 at halftime and breezed by Missouri Western, 84-55, Wednesday night at Bearcat Arena.
The win is Northwest's sixth in its last seven games. The Bearcats (19-7, 11-6 MIAA) have won 12 of their last 13 meetings with the Griffons (9-17, 3-14 MIAA), including both contests this season.
Matt Withers scored 17 points for the second straight game for Northwest, tying his career high. He missed a break-away dunk in the closing minutes that would've given him a new career mark. Withers was 7-of-9 from the floor and dished out five assists in the final home game of his career.
Six Northwest seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony before torching the nets in the first half. The team was 22-of-30 in the opening 20 minutes, capped by a 30-foot 3-pointer by Lance Sullivan before the horn.
Northwest made five consecutive shots early on to take a 17-4 lead, then made 10 straight during a six-minute span just before the half. Kelvin Cayruth's break-away dunk was one of the 10, as were 3-pointers by John Hawkins, Elijah Allen and two by Eddie Gray. The Bearcats were 7-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half.
The Bearcats shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the second game in a row and committed just eight turnovers. Sullivan was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and had 13 points. Hunter Henry had 12 points and seven rebounds and senior Andy Peterson finished with 11 points and five assists.
Reggie Bunch was the lone bright spot for the Griffs. He scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added 12 boards. Lonnel Johnson chipped in 15 points on 5-of-15 from the field. Missouri Western was 5-of-17 from behind the arc and shot 40 percent for the game.
A capacity crowd of 1,951 saw the Bearcats take sole possession of second place in the MIAA standings. Northwest closes its season Saturday at Fort Hays State and can secure the No. 2 seed in the MIAA tournament with the win. A loss, and Northwest could be either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed.
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