Bears Gear Up for National TV Showdown Against UNI

Bears Gear Up for National TV Showdown Against UNI

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Feb. 13, 2014

TICKETS | Live national telecast on ESPNU!

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader UNI Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (17-8, 7-6 MVC) vs. Northern Iowa (12-13, 6-7 MVC)

Date: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
Tipoff: 8:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: MSU leads 40-26 (21-10 in Springfield, 1-4 at JQH Arena)
TV: ESPNU (Mitch Holthus, Rich Zvosec)
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: (mobile friendly)
Live Video: WatchESPN
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Tickets: Game 26 Tickets | MSU Students Free with BearPass ID

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears | Check out @MSUBearsHoops for info on Student Section Sign Contest

Wichita State 13-0 26-0
Indiana State 10-3 19-6
Missouri State 7-6 17-8
Illinois State 6-7 13-12
Northern Iowa 6-7 12-13
Bradley 6-7 11-15
Southern Illinois 6-7 10-16
Evansville 4-9 11-15
Loyola 4-9 9-16
Drake 3-10 12-13


  • MSU has won 13 of its last 14 home games and has not lost in regulation at JQH Arena since 2/19/13 (UNI).
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) has posted 11 straight double-figure scoring games, the longest run of his career and most by a Bear since Kyle Weems had 28 in a row in 2011-12. The Bears are 7-0 when he scores 18 or more.
  • The Bears are 8-0 this season when Christian Kirk (Jr., F, Springfield, Mo.) scores 8 points or more. He has started 4 games in a row and is averaging 8.4 points per game at JQH Arena this season.
  • Missouri State's bench has scored 20 or more points 20 times (in 25 games) this season.
  • Over the last 5 seasons, MSU is 28-5 at home in league games against teams other than Wichita State and UNI. The Bears are a collective 2-7 at JQH against the Shockers and Panthers in that span (1-3 vs. UNI).
  • Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) has 98 career 3-pointers and would become the 11th MSU player to reach 100. His 124 games played also ranks him 7th on MSU's career list and 3rd among active MVC players.
  • Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) is the 16th freshman in MSU history to accumulate 200 or more points in his rookie campaign. He is just the fifth Bear in 10 years to reach the milestone.
  • For his career, Jarmar Gulley is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game at JQH Arena -- the most by any Bear with more than one season at The Q. His 13.4 scoring average in the facility also ranks 2nd all-time to Kyle Weems (14.0).
  • Ron Mvouika (Jr., G/F, Paris) is averaging 9.0 rebounds over the last 3 games.
  • Since their mid-January swoon, in which they dropped 3 straight in league play, the Bears are 5-2. Only Wichita Stat (7-0) and Indiana State (5-2) have been as good since Jan. 21.


The series between the Bears and Panthers dates back 1983 with MSU holding a 40-26 lead, including a 21-10 advantage in Springfield. UNI has won 4-of-5 at JQH Arena and 5-of-6 overall.
Earlier this season in Cedar Falls (Jan. 18), MSU got a career-high 28 points from Ron Mvouika and shot 59.3 percent from the field as a team, but fell short 94-89 at McLeod Center. Mvouika's 6-for-6 effort from 3-point range was an MSU single-game record and helped him finish 10-for-13 from the field. Jarmar Gulley scored 16, and Austin Ruder added 11 points for MSU. UNI twin towers Nate Buss and Seth Tuttle combined for 48 points.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 44-46 (.489) in his third season at MSU and 46-69 (.400) in his fourth season overall as a head coach. He is 23-26 in MVC games (15-9 at home, 8-17 on the road), 1-2 in MVC Tournament games and 21-20 in all non-conference games (13-6 at JQH Arena, 6-7 away and 2-7 at neutral sites). He is also 28-15 in all home games, 14-24 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 1-4 against UNI (1-1 at home).
The 42-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.
With the seventh-youngest team in Division I basketball last year, Lusk led MSU to its 42nd straight winning record at home and the fifth-best turnover average in the nation (10.2). The 2012-13 Bears also set high-water marks for most games against ranked opponents with six and the best single-season scoring total for a freshman class in program history (855).


MSU plays its final mid-week road game on Feb. 18 at Illinois State (7:05 p.m.). The Bears then return home Saturday, Feb. 22 against Indiana State (Noon) on ESPNU and Tuesday, Feb. 25 against Loyola (7:05 p.m.) to close out the regular-season home slate with a Senior Night celebration.

LAST GAME (Feb. 12)

Missouri State (17-8, 7-6) took over sole possession of third place in the Missouri Valley Conference here Wednesday with a 69-63 win over visiting Drake as Bears' senior Keith Pickens contributed a game-high 18 points off the bench.
Pickens also registered 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and a pair of steals while going 8-of-9 at the foul line. Christian Kirk added 12 points for MSU, while Jarmar Gulley notched his 11th straight double-figure scoring game with 11 points.
Drake (12-13, 3-10) was led by Aaron Hawley who went 7-for-11 from the field to contribute 18 points, while Richard Carter tallied 17 for the Bulldogs.
Free throw shooting and rebounding made the difference as MSU finished 23-for-29 (.793) at the line, including 5-of-6 in the final 3 minutes. The Bears also out-rebounded DU by a 35-27 margin, including 12 on the offensive end that led to 9 Missouri State second-chance points.
Drake, which out-rebounded the Bears 34-16 two weeks ago in Des Moines, got to the line just 17 times and made 9 (.529), while committing 13 turnovers.
After trailing 39-36 at the break, Drake came out of the locker room with four unanswered points to start the second half and take a 40-39 lead. Ninety seconds later, the Bears led by six as the home club stormed back with Gulley posting a pair of free throws and later scoring on a spin move to the basket before Kirk converted a traditional 3-point play.
The Bulldogs would pull within one point of the lead twice over the next 3 minutes, but a 7-0 run by MSU built its lead to its biggest of the night, 56-48, at the 9:17 mark after a pair of free throws by Pickens.
With less than a minute to go, Hawley dropped in a long 3-pointer from the right corner to make it a 64-61 contest. However, DU's only long-range shot of the second half was diminished on subsequent run-outs by Pickens as the Bears easily broke Drake's press leading to easy buckets in the clutch for Missouri State.
The Bears improved to 12-1 at home this season, despite making just 20-of-54 (.370) overall from the field and 6-of-21 (.286) from long range - 0-for-10 in the second half.
"When you look at the stat sheet, and we're 37 percent from the field and 29 percent from three, it took some extra-effort plays," said MSU head coach Paul Lusk.
Drake was an impressive 24-for-46 (.522) from the field but was just 6-of-19 (.316) from beyond the arc after scoring 14 bonus balls against the Bears on Jan. 29.
In the first half, the Bears overcame a 64-percent shooting effort from the visitors with a good balance of inside-outside ball movement. MSU knocked down six 3-pointers and committed just a pair of turnovers to take a three-point lead into the locker room.
After Gulley picked up his second personal foul at the 14:25 mark, the Bears' top scorer went to the bench for the rest of the opening half, but MSU rallied without him. With the scored tied at 10, the Bulldogs dared an open Emmanuel Addo to shoot it from beyond the arc, and the senior transfer knocked down the long-range bomb to give the home club a 13-10 lead.
After Drake took the lead briefly on a mini 5-0 outburst, the Bears got a put-back from Pickens and back-to-back 3-pointers from Nathan Scheer to push ahead 21-15 with just under 9 minutes to go. Paul Lusk's squad would not trail the rest of the half and ended the period on a 6-3 run with Ron Mvouika scoring four points in the final 1:20.

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