Nov. 19, 2011
Bearcats grind 49-37 win over William Jewell
By David Boyce
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Northwest Missouri State senior forward Jake Reinders was the only Bearcat to score in double figures Saturday evening against William Jewell.
Northwest needed Reinders’ inside scoring, but the reason the Bearcats pulled out a 49-37 victory over William Jewell in the Hillyard Tip-Off Classic at MWSU Fieldhouse was their defense.
“Our coach says we want to be the best defensive team in the league and the best defensive team in the nation,” said Northwest senior guard Kyle Haake. “That’s what we take pride in.”
In the first half, the Bearcats held William Jewell to 27 percent shooting from the field and took a 22-14 lead into halftime.
“Our guys have bought into getting stops and that’s the most important thing,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “Our guys have bought into fewer minutes so we can stay fresh and defend. That’s an important attribute of a quality team.”
Reinders made three of four field goals in the first half. At halftime, Reinders, who is 6-foot-9, mentioned to his teammates that he had a shorter player guarding him.
His teammates listened. They fed him the ball a few more times. He went 4-for-5 in the second half and finished the game with 16 points.
“He’s a scraper,” Haake said. “He gets those garbage points.”
Northwest continued to play solid defense in the second half. With 8 minutes left, the Bearcats held a 39-25 lead.
“We are a pretty smart team, an aware team and we took advantage of their weaknesses,” Reinders said. “William Jewell has great competitors. They are going to do well in their conference.”
Because of their stingy defense, Northwest never allowed William Jewell to get on any scoring runs.
It was not a perfect game for the Bearcats, but they are off to a perfect start. Northwest is 4-0. The Bearcats have held its opponents to below 40 percent shooting in three of four games.
Although the offense isn’t clicking the way McCollum wants right now, the team is showing they can get offense from numerous sources.
Junior DeShaun Cooper had a tough game shooting, making 2 of 11 shots from the field. It didn’t prevent the Bearcats from getting a double-digit victory.
Cooper, though, showed his value without scoring. Late in the second half, Cooper drove the lane and then passed the ball to sophomore forward Dillon Starzl, who scored an easy layup that gave Northwest a 47-32 lead.
Simply put, it was a very good early season win. William Jewell is always fundamentally strong. On Friday, William Jewell nearly beat Missouri Western before falling 65-64.
“This means a lot,” Haake said of the 4-0 start. “We are building confidence as a team. We are learning how to play together and the roles everybody has to play and to trust each other.”
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