Bears Start Two-Game Valley Road Swing at Loyola
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens

Jan. 3, 2014

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Loyola Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (11-2, 1-0) at Loyola (5-8, 0-1)

Date: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014
Tipoff: 3:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: Gentile Arena (4,486), Chicago, Ill.
Series: LU leads 1-0 (1-0 in Chicago)
TV: KCZ, The Ozarks CW and MSU Bears Television Network (Ned Reynolds, Kelby Stuckey) |  ESPN Game Plan  | ESPN3
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Live Video: None
Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 14 Tickets | MSU Mini Ticket Plans

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears


  • Austin Ruder (Fr., G, Nixa, Mo.) has taken over the Missouri Valley Conference lead in 3-pointers per game (2.15) and has knocked down multiple treys in 8-of-13 games this season.
  • This will be MSU’s first trip to Gentile Arena (4,486) to take on the MVC’s newest member. It will be the first-ever home Valley game for the Ramblers in the facility, which opened in 1996.
  • Keith Pickens (Sr., G/F, St. Louis, Mo.) has blocked a shot in all 8 games he has played this season and 9 games in a row overall. He is also averaging 10.7 rebounds over the last three ball games.
  • MSU has matched its season win total from last season when the Bears finished 11-22 overall and 7-11 in the MVC.
  • This season, Missouri State is 7-0 when leading at the half and 4-2 when trailing at the intermission.
  • Missouri State is 6-0 this season when Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) scores 15 points or more and also 6-0 when Marcus Marshall (So., G, St. Paul, Minn.) scores 14 points or more.
  • MSU’s 16-point comeback in Thursday’s win over Illinois State marked the largest deficit the Bears have overcome for victory since erasing a 22-point deficit at Winthrop (11/25/07) in a BracketBusters return game.
  • Since Dec. 17, Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) has hit a 3-pointer in four straight games and is 4-for-7 (.571) from beyond the arc in that span.
  • Dorrian Williams (So., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.) ranks 2nd in the MVC and 16th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.33) and is coming off a career-high 9 assists (1 turnover) in the team’s Valley opener against Illinois State (1/2/14).
  • This is MSU’s only 3-game week of the MVC season with games later this week at Bradley (1/8) and vs. WSU (1/11).


   The Bears have played Loyola just once -- an 87-83 Ramblers win on Dec. 1, 1964.
 The game was the Bears’ 1964-65 season opener and 32-year-old coach Bill Thomas’ debut as the MSU sideline boss.  Six-foot-five sophomore Danny Bolden scored 20 points for the visitors, and junior James Gant tallied 21 points behind 10 field goals to lead four MSU players in double figures.
 Loyola broke up a 45-45 halftime deadlock behind the efforts of Coleman and Perez who combined to score 21 in the second half for the Ramblers.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 38-40 (.487) in his third season at MSU and 40-63 (.388) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 17-20 in MVC games (11-7 at home, 6-13 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 24-14 in all home games, 12-19 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is coaching against Loyola for the first time.
 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).


  The Bears will conclude their current two-game league road swing on Wednesday night at Bradley (7 p.m.), in a game that will be televised on KCZ, The Ozarks CW, as well the MSU TV Network, ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court. Missouri State returns to JQH Arena on Saturday, Jan. 11 to take on nationally-ranked Wichita State at 7 p.m., in an ESPN3 telecast before traveling to Indiana State (Jan. 15) and Northern Iowa (Jan. 18).


   Jarmar Gulley scored 4 of his game-high 22 points in overtime to help lift Missouri State past visiting Illinois State, 78-70, in the MVC opener.
 The Bears trailed by as many as 16 late in the first half and overcame a 12-point deficit with 13:53 to play to run their JQH Arena winning streak to nine in a row. MSU took the lead for the first time on a pair of Keith Pickens free throws with 1:34 remaining in regulation.  
 Pickens finished with a game-high 10 rebounds and 5 assists off the bench, while Marcus Marshall added 14 points, and Christian Kirk scored 13 for MSU.
 Missouri State, which improved to 4-2 when trailing at the half, used a 10-4 run to close out the first half with some momentum and went into the break trailing 41-31. ISU’s Zach Lofton was whistled for a technical foul as the teams were leaving the floor at halftime, and Marshall converted one of two free throws before the second half got underway, closing MSU’s deficit to nine.
 A 3-pointer by Gulley three minutes into the second stanza pulled the home club within 44-40, but the Redbirds retaliated with an 8-0 outburst over the next three minutes to push back on top by 12.
 ISU seemed to have an answer for every Missouri State run over the next nine minutes as Paris Lee knocked down a trey with just over seven minutes to go after the Bears had climbed within five. Later, a runner by Hunter with four-and-a-half remaining silenced the home faithful after a Gulley shot off the glass made it a 61-56 contest at the 4:56 mark.
 Gulley knocked down a pair of charity shots with 4:18 remaining to start a personal 8-2 run, and his layup after a Pickens steal in the open court pulled MSU within 65-64 with 1:44 showing.  After Illinois State missed two shots at point-blank range on its next trip, Pickens was fouled on the rebound, sending the senior to the line for the go-ahead free throws with 94 ticks to spare.
 Illinois State’s Reggie Lynch converted one-of-two free throws in the clutch with 21.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 66, and MSU’s efforts to win it on its last possession fell short on a 3-point try by Marshall.
 In overtime, Gulley took over early, getting the first bucket 30 seconds in to extra time and later pushing the Bears ahead 74-68 after Pickens threaded the needle with a precision pass for a layup.  In overtime, Pickens had 2 assists, a pair of free throws and rattled home an alley-up dunk on a pass from Dorrian Williams to help seal the win.



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