Jan. 30, 2009
Bearcats, Tigers Tussle in Hays Saturday
A string of home games is briefly interrupted this weekend as the Bearcats travel to Hays, Kan., to take on Fort Hays State at Gross Coliseum. Tip is 7:30 p.m.
Northwest (9-10, 4-8 MIAA) and newcomer Nebraska-Omaha are the only conference squads yet to lose out west since the Tigers joined the MIAA in 2006. The Bearcats two wins since have come by an average of 20 points.
Fort Hays State (13-5, 6-5 MIAA) beat the Bearcats 79-68 in Maryville in late December and is riding a four-game winning streak into the weekend. No team has scored 70 points against the Tigers in that span.
Leading scorer Tyrone Evans leads the MIAA and ranks seventh nationally in three-pointers. He hit seven in the first game against the Bearcats, including one on three consecutive possessions after Northwest had completed its rally from a 13-point halftime deficit.
Northwest is still trying to catch up from a 0-6 start in conference play. The Bearcats had won four of five before sustaining a six-point setback at home against Washburn Wednesday. Elijah Allen scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds, but was the only Northwest player in double figures.
Adding to the loss were wins by the three teams sitting ahead of Northwest in the standings. The Bearcats are two games back of Missouri Western and Missouri Southern for the eighth and final spot in the MIAA tournament with eight games remaining.
Northwest had won four in a row against Fort Hays State prior the home loss earlier this year. Forward Hunter Henry, the MIAA's top rebounder and third-leading scorer, has averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds in two games in Hays.
Henry blocked his 100th career shot Wednesday - the second Bearcat to reach the mark - but tied his season low of points with eight. It ended a 15-game, double-digit scoring streak for the senior forward.
Northwest point guard Mike Larsen continues to lead the conference in steals through 12 league games and ranks second in assists. He's had no fewer than five dimes and two swipes in his last three contests.
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