Dec. 3, 2008
Tappmeyer Goes For 400 Tonight at Emporia
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State Head Coach Steve Tappmeyer gets his first chance at career win No. 400 tonight as his 21st-ranked Bearcats (3-1) take on the Emporia State Hornets (4-1) inside newly remodeled White Auditorium in Emporia, Kan.
It's the MIAA opener for both teams and a rematch of last year's MIAA tournament championship game won 57-51 by the Bearcats. The teams split during the conference season with both teams winning on the other's home court. Northwest has won eight of the last nine meetings in the series.
Tappmeyer looks to become the 28th active Division II head coach with 400 wins. Missouri Western's Tom Smith and Washburn's Bob Chipman are the only other MIAA coaches who have reached 400-win plateau.
Northwest has won seven of its last 10 MIAA openers under Tappmeyer. The Bearcats were 7-2 on the road en route to second-place finish in the league a year ago. Emporia State finished eighth in the MIAA with a 7-11 record. The Hornets were 4-5 on their home court.
White Auditorium, owned by the city of Emporia, received some significant upgrades during the offseason. The playing surface was refurbished and a new scoreboard was installed.
White was the site of arguably the most controversial game of last season. Emporia State had a half-court shot waived off at the end of the regulation and Northwest went on to win 91-83 in double overtime. Replay and a cell phone stopwatch were used to determine the half-court shot no good, prompting reprimands to the head official by the MIAA.
Hunter Henry had 13 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and six steals in that contest. The lone senior this season, Henry is averaging 14.8 points and eight rebounds. He falls in the MIAA's top 10 in both categories.
Jeremiah Box and Robert Moores, two of seven transfers into the Emporia program, lead the Hornets with 15 and 14 points per game, respectively. Lamar Wilbern, a transfer from Kaplan University, adds 13 points and seven rebounds.
Emporia's lone loss this season was a 22-point decision at Division-I Kansas State. The Hornets trailed 40-34 at the half, but 26 turnovers led to 30 Wildcat points.
Northwest opponents are averaging 25.5 turnovers a game - tops in the MIAA. Emporia State ranks last in the league in turnover margin.
Shawn Carter scored 11 points in a 78-38 Northwest win against Central Bible last time out on Nov. 25. Carter has reached double figures in three consecutive games. Elijah Allen scored a career-high 17 points off the Bearcat bench and Henry added 13 points and nine boards.
Northwest will play its first three MIAA games on the road. The Bearcats first home game in league play is Dec. 29 against Fort Hays State.
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