Jan. 7, 2008
New Year Brings Rival-Missouri Western
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State's men's basketball team rings in the new year with rival-Missouri Western tonight at Bearcat Arena (7:30 p.m. CST). The Bearcats (5-7, 0-5 MIAA) have won 12 of the last 13 meetings with the Griffons (6-6, 3-3 MIAA), who haven't won in Maryville since 2002.
Northwest and Truman, which meet this weekend, are the only teams without a win in MIAA play to start 2009. Four of the Bearcats' five losses came on the road. Northwest will play seven of its next 10 games at home where the team is 3-1 this season.
Missouri Western has equaled its MIAA win total from a year ago. All three wins have come against teams that played a hand in the Bearcats' 0-5 start. The Griffons were 3-1 in the league, but have since dropped back-to-back games to Missouri Southern and Nebraska-Omaha.
Sophomore forward Dominique Thuston leads three Griffons averaging more than 12 points per game. His 15.3 average ranks seventh in the MIAA. Senior guard Lonnel Johnson leads the MIAA and ranks 17th nationally in steals. He averages close to 14 points. Junior forward James Bush is shooting a conference-high 59.2 percent from the field and averages 12.5 points.
Missouri Western and Northwest rank first and third, respectively, in steals in the MIAA. The Griffons average 11.5 thefts per game.
Northwest senior forward Hunter Henry leads the Bearcats with 16.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He's coming off season-highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 63-61 loss at Pittsburg State on New Year's Eve. The league's leading rebounder, Henry in the only player who ranks in the top three of the MIAA in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots.
Henry will enjoy a three-inch height advantage when the starting lineups are announced tonight. He's averaged 13.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in seven career games against Missouri Western and is yet to shoot less than 50 percent from the floor.
Expected to return to the Bearcat bench are juniors Shawn Carter and Edriss Floyd. Carter, who started the first eight games of the season and averaged nine points, has missed the last four games with a knee injury. Floyd, who averages 7.5 points, missed the Pittsburg State contest with a back injury.
Northwest's season sweep of the Griffons last year included an 84-55 win in Maryville Feb. 27. The Bearcats shot 73 percent from the field in the first half and led 57-28 at the break.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468