Feb. 15, 2012
Team effort leads Northwest to 20th win
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – It was a total team effort that included two extra periods Wednesday night as the 14th-ranked Bearcats survived Truman State 94-87 on the road in MIAA action from Pershing Arena.
Northwest, who is in search of its first MIAA regular season title since 2007, got one step closer as they improved to 20-3 on the year and 14-3 in league play. The Bulldogs fell to 7-18 overall and 4-13 in the MIAA as they continue to battle for the eighth and final spot in the MIAA tournament.
Each period saw a different Bearcat step-up as they claimed their first 20 season since 2006-07.
Senior Kyle Haake scored early and often in overtime, including draining a big three-pointer and hitting two clutch free throws in the second overtime to seal the win.
DeAngelo Hailey knocked down big shots in the first overtime period while Justin Clark guarded the Bulldogs hottest shooter, Tom Norton. Norton scorched the Bearcats for 34 points going 8-of-12 from behind the three-point line hitting back-to-back 40-footers to force the extra periods.
Junior DeShaun Cooper scored a team high 22 points before fouling out to help send the Bearcats into the first overtime period after trailing almost the entire second half.
Omaha native Jake Reinders shared team high honors with Cooper scoring 22 points and shattering his previous career high grabbing 21 rebounds. Reinders’ 21 boards were just two shy of a Northwest single-game record.
The Bulldogs would take a 29-27 lead into halftime after Northwest fought hard to pull within two points at the break. TSU shot lights out the entire game, but gave the Bearcats all they could handle in the second half shooting blistering 52 percent including six three-pointers.
TSU would go on to make 13 three-pointers in the game, eight of which came from Norton.
However, the top free throw shooting team in the MIAA stepped up to the challenge. Northwest shot 82 percent from the line as a team going 32-of-39 including 16-of-17 in the second half to send the game to overtime and 10-of-12 in the extra period.
The Bearcats out-rebounded the Bulldogs by a 50-30 margin after struggling last week on the boards.
The win also marks Head Coach Ben McCollum’s first win at Truman in his three-years at the helm.
Northwest continues its search of the regular season title as they host Central Missouri on Saturday. The Bearcats and Mules tipoff from Bearcat Arena at 3:30 p.m.
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