Dec. 5, 2008
Northwest, Washburn Tango in Topeka
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State Head Coach Steve Tappmeyer goes for win No. 400 and the 21st-ranked Bearcats go for their first win in MIAA play Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. tip against Washburn at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kan.
The Bearcats (3-2, 0-1 MIAA) got 25 points and 10 rebounds from Hunter Henry, but dropped its conference opener at Emporia State Wednesday. Northwest hasn't started 0-2 in league play since the 1996-97 season and is 14-2 following a loss since February of 2006.
Washburn (4-2, 1-0), meanwhile, held off Nebraska-Omaha 85-84 at home Wednesday. All four of the Ichabods wins have come at home this season.
After playing a rematch of last year's MIAA tournament championship with Emporia State, Northwest takes on its tournament semifinal opponent in Washburn. The Bearcats rallied late last March and defended a final Ichabod possession to earn a 50-49 win. The loss ended Washburn's season at 18-11.
Washburn coach Bob Chipman has four seniors and a junior in his starting five, four of which are averaging double-figures in points. The Ichabods are currently the second-highest scoring team in the league at nearly 90 points per game.
Senior forward Paul Byers scored a career-high 26 points against Nebraska-Omaha Wednesday. Washburn saw a 14-point, second-half lead turn into a three-point deficit late. A foul on a tip attempt at the buzzer led to a Nate Daniels' free-throw, which broke a tie with 0.3 seconds left.
Northwest shot a season-low 37 percent from the field and allowed more than 66 points for the first time this season in a loss at Emporia. The Bearcats are shooting better than 50 percent from the field this season, third in the MIAA, and their scoring defense ranks second. Northwest has forced 20 or more turnovers in four of five games this season.
In addition to Henry, DaJuan Harris has reached double figures in each of his last two games. Shawn Carter is averaging close to 10 points and point guard Ben Haarman averages seven.
Tappmeyer gets his second chance at career win No. 400. He'd become the 28th active Division II head coach to reach the plateau.
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