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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

March 8, 2008

Men Join Women for Championship Sunday

Box Score | Photo Gallery | Postgame Press Conference (.mp3)

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State rallied from eight points down in the second half and defended a final Washburn possession to earn a 50-49 win in the semifinals of the MIAA tournament Saturday at Municipal Auditorium. The Bearcats advance to the championship game at 3:30 p.m. Sunday against eighth-seeded Emporia State.

The Bearcats (22-7) held the Ichabods (18-11) to one field goal and five points in the game's final eight minutes to complete the comeback. Andy Peterson tipped away a Washburn inbounds pass with 0.5 seconds left to secure the win. Peterson led Northwest with 11 points.

Northwest took a 50-46 lead with 1:09 remaining following two free throws from Lance Sullivan, two from Peterson and 1-of-2 from Matt Withers.

Grant Hargett hit an off-balance 3-pointer on Washburn's next possession to cut the lead to one with 50 seconds left. Hunter Henry missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and the Ichabods called timeout with 24.9 seconds remaining.

Hargett tried to penetrate the 3-point arch, but Henry shed his man and stripped Hargett of the ball. It bounced into the hands of Andy Meile, who took a 3-pointer that bounced off the front of the rim. Henry slapped the rebound out of bounds to the left corner with 0.5 seconds remaining.

Washburn tried to get the ball to Darnell Kimble in the paint, but Peterson, who was guarding the inbounds pass, leaped and got a hand on it before the ball arrived to Kimble and time expired.

The Bearcats have won nine of their last 10 games and move into the championship game for the ninth time. Northwest is 3-5 in title games with their last win coming in the 2004 tournament.

Mose Howard, who hadn't competed since Feb. 2 due to a knee injury, entered with 10 minutes remaining and with Northwest trailing 42-36. He got a steal on his first possession, then drove and dished to Henry for two points on the offensive end to cut the lead to four. He swished the first shot he took, a 3-pointer with 5:40 remaining, which gave the Bearcats their first lead since the 18-minute mark of the first half.

Andrais Thornton and John Hawkins performed brilliantly off the Bearcat bench. Thornton scored four points in nine minutes and drew two fouls on Kimble, who scored a game-high 15 points. Hawkins drew a five-second violation with four minutes remaining and Sullivan made two free throws to make it 47-46 with 3:46 to play.

The Bearcats made their first 11 free throws and were 16-of-20 from the striple. Washburn was 8-of-14.

Northwest Head Coach Steve Tappmeyer Post-Game Quotes

Opening Statement…

"My brain's too rattled to say anything that makes sense probably. It's just a hard fought game. These guys have gotten us twice before and really for a good part of the game had us out of sink. I thought the last 10 minutes we started getting some better looks and got some things going. A lot of guys made big plays. We played a heck of a team and some awfully good senior players with (Andrew) Meile and (Kyle) Snyder. We've seen enough of them and I'm glad they're graduating."

On the importance of ball control…

"That was big. That's something that both the previous games they got us to turn the ball over and turned them into points. By keeping our turnovers down it allowed us to keep the game more to the tempo we wanted."

About the momentum swing late in the second half…

"It's just such a momentum game. We did the scrambling and trapping stuff that we did so well yesterday.

"The previous two games they really used that against us. They were prepared and passed out of the traps. We just didn't do it the first 30 minutes of the game."

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