Bears Kick Off 2014-15 Season Friday at JQH Arena

Bears Kick Off 2014-15 Season Friday at JQH Arena

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Nov. 12, 2014

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Eastern Illinois Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Game 1 | Missouri State Bears (0-0) vs. Eastern Illinois (0-0)
Date Firday, Nov. 14, 2014 | 7:05 p.m.
Location JQH Arena (11,000) | Springfield, Mo.
Tickets Game 1 Tickets | MSU Season Tickets
Game Events
Tribute to Charlie Spoonhour | Spoonhour Poster for first 2,500 fans | Turtleneck Sweater Night
Fan Information BearWear | Browser Theme | Visitors Guide | MSU Bookstore | Student Ticket Pickup
Television Mediacom (MC-22) with Don West and Kelby Stuckey
Radio Missouri State Radio Network with Art Hains and Mike Keltner
Online
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All-Time Series
MSU leads 19-8 | Streak: MSU 8 in a row | Last Meeting: MSU 67, EIU 64 (2/24/90)
Up Next
Missouri State hosts Avila on Wed., Nov. 19 (7:05 p.m.) | Tickets


The 10 Count

  • Missouri State head coach Paul Lusk, who begins his fourth season at the helm of the Bears, turns 43 on the day of this year's season opener (Nov. 14) against Eastern Illinois.
  • Christian Kirk (F, Springfield, Mo.) ranks fourth among all active MVC players in rebounds (340), third in offensive rebounds (130), fourth in games played (96), seventh in minutes (1,844) and eighth in games started (48).
  • Eastern Illinois head coach Jay Spoonhour is the son of legendary Bears' basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour who will have an honorary retired jersey dedicated to him at halftime of today's game. Jay is a graduate of Springfield's Glendale High School (1989) and was in attendance for many of MSU's most-memorable basketball moments.
  • The Bears are 65-20 (.765) over the last four seasons at JQH Arena. MSU was 14-3 at home a year ago with all three defeats coming by three points or less. Missouri State has had winning home records 43 straight seasons.
  • Lusk is 3-0 in both season openers and home openers as Missouri State head coach.
  • During its Division I era (1982-83 to present), Missouri State is 31-1 in home openers with 11 straight home-opening victories. During that same span, the Bears are 23-9 in season openers.
  • In 3 postseason games last year, MSU's top scorers were underclassmen Ruder (28), Williams (21) & Thurman (17).
  • Over the last four seasons, only four Division I programs have committed fewer turnovers than the Bears (10.50).
  • MSU -- picked third this year -- has finished at or higher than predicted in every MVC preseason poll under Lusk.
  • MSU is looking for its 75th all-time win at JQH Arena, a facility entering its seventh season as home of the Bears.
Tribute to Charlie Spoonhour

A tribute dinner, retired jersey ceremony and a throwback-themed season opener highlight a planned celebration to honor former Missouri State men's basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour during events planned for Nov. 13-14.

Spoonhour, who passed away on Feb. 1, 2012 at the age of 72, coached the Bears from 1983-92. He compiled a 197-81 record while leading MSU to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He went on to head coaching stops at Saint Louis University (1992-99) and UNLV (2001-04) and was 373-202 in 19 years overall as a Division I head coach.

Missouri State will open the 2014-15 basketball season at JQH Arena on Nov. 14 against Eastern Illinois, a team coached by the late coach's son, Jay Spoonhour.

The night prior to the game (Nov. 13), both Jay and Charlie's widow Vicki will be in attendance at a Tribute to Charlie Spoonhour event at University Plaza Hotel, starting with a reception at 5:30 p.m.

On Friday night, the first 2,500 fans at JQH Arena will receive a commemorative Charlie Spoonhour poster. A halftime ceremony will then retire a ceremonial jersey for Spoonhour, making him just the fifth MSU Bear to receive that honor. Tipoff for MSU's season opener is 7:05 p.m.

To help celebrate the occasion, the Bears will play in throwback uniforms, similar to the ones the team wore in Spoonhour's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987. The uniforms will be auctioned during a silent bid process during the game with proceeds supporting the Charlie Spoonhour Endowed Scholarship.

All fans are encouraged to wear Spoonhour-type turtleneck sweaters as part of the throwback theme for the evening.

Salute to America's Heroes Discount

All active and retired military, police, fire, EMT and other first-responders are eligible for the Salute to America's Heroes discout at the MSU Athletics Box Office at JQH Arena with a valid emergency-related ID.

America's heroes receive a $7 upper-level tickets ($5 for children) on all advance and game-day tickets for the Eastern Illinois game at the MSU Athletics Box Office at JQH Arena. This offer is not valid for on-line or phone orders.

The pregame National Anthem will feature a giant American Flag as part of the ongoing Veteran's
Day celebration on the Springfield campus.

The Series

The Bears and Panthers are no strangers, having met 27 times since the rivalry began in 1959. Missouri State leads the all-time series, 19-8, including wins in the last eight confrontations.

MSU and EIU shared a common conference in the old Mid-Continent Conference days. The clubs met 18 times in nine seasons between 1982-83 and 1989-90 with the Bears winning 13 times as conference foes.

Missouri State is 9-4 at home against the Panthers (0-1 at McDonald Arena, 9-3 at Hammons Student Center). This is the first meeting between the teams at JQH Arena.

The last time the teams met, Missouri State prevailed 67-64 in Charleston, Ill., on Feb. 24, 1990, with the late coach Charlie Spoonhour engineering the win for the maroon and white. Despite committing 16 turnovers and being outrebounded by a 23-19 margin, the Bears prevailed behind a 50-percent shooting night that featured Jeff Ford's 21 points, while Darryl Reid contributed 13. Lee Campbell notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards while going 8-for-12 at the line. The Panthers got 22 points from Barry Johnson and 20 from Dave Olson on a night where both clubs shot better than 60 percent from 3-point range.

Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 47-51 (.480) in his fourth season at MSU and 49-74 (.398) in his fifth season overall as a head coach. He is 25-29 in MVC games (17-10 at home, 8-19 on the road), 2-3 in MVC Tournament games and 21-19 against all non-conference foes (13-7 at JQH Arena, 6-7 away and 1-5 at neutral sites). He is also 30-17 in all home games, 14-26 on the road, and 3-8 at neutral sites. He has never coached against Eastern Illinois.

The 43-year-old Lusk took the reins as MSU's 17th head coach on April 1, 2011. He came to Springfield after seven seasons at Purdue (2004-11), including his last three as associate head coach there. Now in his 16th season in the coaching profession, Lusk has previous assistant coaching stops at Southwestern Illinois (1996-97), Missouri Southern (1999-2002) and Southern Illinois (2003-04) in addition to a one-year head coaching stint at (Div. III) Dubuque (2002-03). Lusk has played or coached in 10 NCAA Tournaments.

Last season, Lusk helped engineer the eighth-best turnaround in the Division I ranks as the Bears finished 20-13 and made an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Lusk finished third in the MVC Coach of the Year voting in 2014 and was a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award..

Last Game

Marcus Marshall scored a game-high 23 points, including the game-winning running jumper with 2.9 seconds left, to lift Missouri State past visiting Missouri Southern here Saturday in a preseason exhibition battle.

The Bears overcame a 15-point deficit and a trailed 61-53 with just over six minutes remaining before staging the late comeback.

Missouri Southern got 19 points and 5 rebounds from Blaine Miller, while Greg Renfroe added 12 points and 9 rebounds off the bench for the Lions, a Division II program coming off a 30-win campaign.

Jeff Boschee's Lions used a hot shooting start to build a 13-point advantage just under seven minutes into the contest. A dunk by Renfroe made it 22-9 at the 12:58 mark of the first half. A pair of close buckets by MSU newcomer Camyn Boone and a layup by Dorrian Williams drew the home club back within 22-15 over the next minute-and-a-half. But Southern rallied behind Miller and Devin Spencer who led an 8-3 run by the visitors to push ahead by 12. Taylor Luster's trey at the 6:35 mark gave the Lions their biggest lead of the night at 33-18.

After starting 8-for-14 from the field MSSU finished the first half with a 53-percent shooting clip, while forcing 11 Missouri State turnovers to lead 43-30 at the break.

But the second half script read differently, and the Bears rallied before a largely-student crowd of 3,327 at JQH Arena.

When Renfroe's put-back after the first media timeout gave the Lions a 51-38 lead, the Bears moved to a zone defense and collected stops in six of their next seven defensive trips to start a 9-2 run and make it a six-point game.

With the Bears back in the game, Missouri Southern didn't cave under pressure and built its advantage to 59-50 at the 7:17 mark. The Lions later answered a Marshall 3-pointer with a pair of charity shots by Taevaunn Prince a minute later to build a 61-53 advantage.

But the final six minutes of the contest belonged to the home side. Over the span of the next two-and-a-half minutes, Marshall completed a traditional 3-point play, Ron Mvouika scored on a steal and layup, and Boone tallied two offensive put-backs, the latter of which put Missouri State ahead 62-61 with 3:36 to go. Boone's last bucket marked MSU's first lead since the 18:58 mark of the first half.

Mvouika added a key jumper from the elbow, and Kirk tacked on a pair of free throws with just under two minutes to go to make it 66-63 at the time. But the Lions caught a huge break moments later with a traditional 3-point play by senior Cameron Cornelius to tie the contest, 66-66, at the 1:36 mark.

The Bears battled for a loose ball on the ensuing possession, and Mvouika dove to the floor to keep it in the home team's hands temporarily, but MSU's second turnover of the half came at a bad time when Dorrian Williams lost the handle with 51 seconds to go. Taylor Luster missed a long jumper for MSSU, and Kirk gathered in the rebound to set up the winning shot by Marshall in the final seconds.

Missouri Southern, which made just two field goals in the final 7 minutes, 17 seconds, couldn't get off a shot before the final buzzer, and Missouri State avoided the preseason upset with the two-point comeback win.

Kirk finished with 7 rebounds off the bench, while Mvouika added a team-high 8 boards for the home side. Boone added 13 points in reserve, while Williams racked up 9 points and 3 assists.

Missouri State forced 17 turnovers and out-rebounded Missouri Southern by a 40-35 margin, including a 22-15 difference in the second half. The Bears finished 22-for-57 (.386) from the field, 6-of-24 (.250) from beyond the arc and just 60 percent (18-for-30) at the line.

Missouri Southern finished 24-for-51 (.471), while converting 6-of-17 (.353) outside the arc and just 12-of-24 at the line. The Lions were just 1-of-6 from three in the second half and 6-of-14 at the line in the final 20 minutes
.

Next Game

The Bears wrap a two-game home stand next Wednesday when Missouri State hosts former standout Rodney Perry and his Avila Eagles for a 7:05 p.m., start at JQH Arena. Perry played two seasons in Springfield from 1991-93, and accounted for 334 points and 90 rebounds in a 60-game career.

Avila, an NAIA team the Bears have never played, returns two starters and seven lettermen from a 6-21 club.
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