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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release


Nov. 8, 2012

Bearcats open season Sunday vs Graceland

Game Central

Tipoff: 3:30 p.m.
Bearcat Arena
Bearcat Radio Network
John Coffey (play-by-play), Matt Gaarder (color);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.

Rankings (NABC Top 25)

Northwest: RV
Graceland: NR
Series: Northwest leads the all-time series 17-1. It will be the third meeting in three seasons between the teams.


Northwest: Ben McCollum (Northwest '03) 44-38 (4th season)
Graceland: Jeffery Hamilton (Florida Atlantic '04)

Game Quick Links

MARYVILLE, Mo. – The Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team will return to the hardwood for its regular season opener in a Sunday afternoon matchup with Graceland.

The Bearcats open the 2012-13 season as the defending MIAA Championships after a 15-5 mark in conference last season. Now in his fourth-year on the bench for the Bearcats, Ben McCollum and his group are looking to build on a 22-7 finish last season that earned them a berth in the NCAA tournament first time since 2008.

After their only exhibition game of the season – a 91-58 loss to Missouri – the Bearcats will open the regular season against Graceland with a 3:30 p.m. tip from Bearcat Arena.

Last year, the Bearcats knocked off Graceland 90-60 to start the season. A hot shooting Northwest team shot over 60 percent from the field in the first half but cooled off in the second period. The Yellow Jackets put up a tough fight outscoring Northwest 42-40 in the second half; however six Bearcats scored in double figures to lead Northwest in the win and a 9-0 start to the season.

Northwest returns only one starter to open the season as senior guard DeShaun Cooper was lost to injury and will miss the first few weeks of the season. The injury leaves Dillon Starzl as the only starter from last year’s team.

Starzl averaged 5.6 points per game and pulled in 4.3 rebounds per contest. The 6’ 8” junior post will be joined in the front court by Kyle Schlake and Grant Cozad. Schlake saw limited action in 14 games last year, while Cozad was reunited with Strazl after the duo prepped at Kearney High School in Kearney, Mo.

Looking to help bridge the loss of Cooper, the Bearcats will consider a number of players including DeAngelo Hailey, Bryston Williams, Alex Sullivan, Matt Wallace and Tyler Funk. Hailey, a senior and Wallace, a junior, combine as two of the team’s top free-throw shooters as Williams finished in the top five of the MIAA at 84 percent last year.

Sullivan proved to be not only the team’s top three-point threat, but was the top shooter from long range in the MIAA at 47 percent on the season. Wallace and Funk also played key roles off the bench as Wallace averaged 1.9 assist per game and both were given top defensive assignments.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468