Bears Return to the Road Saturday for Key Game at OSU

Bears Return to the Road Saturday for Key Game at OSU

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Dec. 3, 2015

Missouri State Game Notes | Oklahoma State Game Notes | MVC Weekly Notebook

Missouri State Bears (1-5) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2)
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015
Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla. | 2:30 p.m. | FSOK
Location Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) | Stillwater, Okla.
Directions OSU Visitors Guide
MSU Tickets
Game 7 | Season Tickets
Fan Information BearWear | Browser Theme | Visitors Guide | MSU Bookstore
Television FOX Sports Oklahoma with Mike Wolfe, Bryndon Manzer
Radio Missouri State Radio Network with Art Hains & Mike Keltner
Online Coverage
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Connect @MissouriStBears | @MSUBearsHoops | Bears on Facebook |Bears on Instagram | #MSUBears |
All-Time Series
OSU leads 8-0 | Streak: L8 | Last Meeting: OSU 62, MSU 42 (12/18/12)
Up Next
MSU begins a three-game home stand Thursday against IUPUI (7:05 p.m.)
The 10 Count
  • ALed by Chris Kendrix (4 times), Camyn Boone (3) and Dequon Miller (3), 10 different Bears have scored in double figures through six games this season. Nationally, only Georgia Southern (11) has more double-figure producers.
  • MSU's bench has outscored its opponents' reserves by a 181-125 margin this season. Bears' subs are averaging 30.2 points per game, have outscored their counterparts 5 times in 6 games and account for 44.4% of MSU points.
  • Missouri State has matched or out-rebounded 5 of its first 6 opponents, including 2 of 3 foes at the competitive Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Bears have also amassed 84 second-chance points behind their 74 offensive caroms.
  • In his collegiate debut Tuesday, freshman Ryan Kreklow (Columbia, Mo.) came off the bench to score 10 points in 14 minutes with a pair of assists and two 3-pointers. With injuries to fellow guards Austin Ruder and Shawn Roundtree, Kreklow put his potential for a redshirt season aside to give his club a backup at the 2 guard spot.
  • Dorrian Williams (Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.) will be playing in his 99th career game. He has 320 assists, which ranks 14th in program history, to go with 318 rebounds and 557 points.
  • Chris Kendrix (So., Willard, Mo.) tallied 6 steals in Tuesday's narrow loss to Utah State, matching the third-best single-game steal total in school history and just the second such effort by a Bears' sophomore ( Deven Mitchell, 2005).
  • Tyler McCullough (Jr., Fayetteville, Ark.) was named Tuesday as a NABC Allstate Good Works Team nominee.
  • Obediah Church (Fr., Springfield, Ill.) was 7-for-8 from the field with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 dunks in Tuesday's game against Utah State. The freshman standout's .778 field goal percentage leads the Missouri Valley.
  • Church ranks 50th nationally in blocks (13) and blocks per game (2.17) and sits 3rd in the MVC in rebounds (6.8).
  • The Bears have outscored their opponents, 233-219, in the second half and have led at the half just once.
The Series

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series, 8-0, including a 3-0 mark at Gallagher-Iba.
The clubs first met in 1938 and have met three times since 2010, including a 62-42 Cowboys win in Stillwater in the most-recent matchup on Dec. 8, 2012. OSU also won a 72-67 decision in Springfield on Dec. 7, 2011 and an 84-70 victory over the eventual-MVC champion Bears on Dec. 11, 2010.
Senior Dorrian Williams (Oklahoma City, Okla.) is the only active MSU player to see action against OSU in the most-recent meeting in the series, scoring 6 points and contributing 2 assists off the bench as a freshman against the No. 23-ranked Cowboys. OSU's Phil Forte had 6 points in a 24-minute stint.

Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 58-76 (.433) in his fifth season at MSU and 60-99 (.377) in his sixth season overall as a head coach. He is 30-42 in MVC games (21-15 at home, 9-27 on the road), 2-4 in MVC Tournament games and 26-30 against all non-conference foes (17-9 at JQH Arena, 8-11 away and 1-10 at neutral sites). In all games, he is 38-24 at home, 17-38 on the road, and 3-14 at neutral sites. Lusk is 0-2 against Oklahoma State as a head coach (0-1 in Stillwater).
The 44-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 17th 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.
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 that same year. He was also named one of the Top 25 high-major assistants by in 2010, and named him MVC coach of the year in 2012. He is a member of the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame after scoring 2,743 points during a highly-touted prep career at Wesclin High in New Baden, Ill. He went on to play 107 college games at Iowa and Southern Illinois, earning All-MVC second-team honors in 1994 for the Salukis.

Bears to Retire Jersey of Thomas

MSU AD Kyle Moats announced Nov. 9 that a ceremonial jersey will be retired on Dec. 10 to honor legendary men's basketball coach Bill Thomas. Thomas' legacy on the Springfield campus shaped the landscape of Bears' basketball for nearly three decades as a player, assistant coach and most notably as head coach of the Bears for three trips to the NCAA Division II championship game in 1967, 1969 and 1974.
He became the head coach of the Bears in 1964 and over the next 16 seasons, he directed Missouri State to eight MIAA basketball titles, more than any other coach in league history. Thomas compiled a 16-year coaching mark of 265-158, twice was honored as NABC District Coach of the Year and in 1974 was named the College Division National Coach of the Year by the NABC. Thomas will be the sixth men's basketball representative to have a jersey retired in his honor at Missouri State.

Kendrix Steals the Show

Chris Kendrix (So., Willard, Mo.) snagged 6 steals in MSU's narrow 69-68 home loss to Utah State on Dec. 1. The effort matched the third-best performance in program history, trailing only Winston Garland's 8 steals (vs. Pitt in the 1986 NIT, 3/12/86) and Doug Lewis' 7 snags (vs. UIC, 2/25/88).
Kendrix is the 14th player to grab 6 steals in a Missouri State game, but first since Spencer Laurie did so on Jan. 15, 2008 against Indiana State.
The only other Bears' underclassmen to reach 6 steals in a single contest was Deven Mitchell who also grabbed 6 on Feb. 26, 2005 against Illinois State during his sophomore season.
As of Thursday, Kendrix ranked 4th in the MVC in steals per game (1.7) and is also among the league's top players in scoring (17th), FG% (9th), and 3-point FG% (11th).

MWC-MVC Challenge Series

The Mountain West and Missouri Valley conferences have revived a Challenge Series that will feature head-to-head competition between 10 MWC and 10 MVC teams this season. The MWC won the last Challenge Series in 2012 (6-3). Entering this year, MWC teams had an all-time 22-13 edge in Series games from 2009-12.
The Mountain West leads this year's Challenge Series, 4-2:

  • Air Force at Southern Illinois SIU, 77-75
  • Illinois State at San Diego State SDSU, 71-60
  • Colorado State at UNI CSU, 84-78
  • Wyoming at Indiana State INS, 70-55
  • Loyola at New Mexico NM, 75-51
  • Utah State at Missouri State, 69-68
  • D9 -- UNLV at Wichita State (ESPN2) 8:00 CT
  • D12 -- Drake at Nevada 6:00 CT
  • D20 -- Bradley at Boise State 1:00 CT
  • D20 -- Evansville at Fresno State 3:00 CT

Missouri State is now 1-3 all-time in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.

Up Next

MSU begins a three-game home stand on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against IUPUI. The stretch continues Dec. 13 vs. Tulsa (2:05 p.m.) and Dec. 16 vs. Oral Roberts (7:05 p.m.).

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