Nov. 13, 2009
Missouri Hosts Northwest Tonight in Men's Hoops
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State and new head coach Ben McCollum make their season debuts tonight in an exhibition game against the Missouri Tigers. Tipoff inside Mizzou Arena is set for 7 p.m. Fox Sports Midwest will televise the game live.
McCollum returns to the Bearcat bench following a two-year playing career from 2001-03. He served as a graduate assistant coach under Steve Tappmeyer from 2003-05 and has spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Emporia State.
McCollum inherits three returning starters, but may be down to one before tonight's tip. Junior forward Elijah Allen, the Bearcats' second-leading scorer from a year ago, will be a game-time decision due to an ankle injury. Senior guard Mike Larsen has opted for season-ending ankle surgery and will apply for a medical hardship.
Senior guard Edriss Floyd, who averaged seven points and made 18 starts last year, is ready go and is expected to be in the starting lineup this evening.
"Tonight is going to be a challenge, but I think we are good enough to hang in there," said Floyd. "We're all basketball players and for us, it's just another day to compete."
Missouri dismantled Truman 96-33 last Friday in exhibition play. Laurence Bowers scored 14 points of the Tiger bench to lead five Missouri players in double figures. Starting guard J.T. Tiller added 13 points. Missouri returns two starters from a 31-win team that advanced to the Elite Eight last season.
"I think we're ready," said Allen. "Everybody is in shape and we're playing well together. This is a game we can take and learn from."
"We've been ready for awhile," added sophomore guard Jake Petersen. "We expect to get better from the experience."
The Bearcats officially open the 2009-10 season with six straight home games starting Monday night against Manhattan Christian. Game time from Bearcat Arena will be 7 p.m.
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Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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