Bears Look to Get Back on Track at BU
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens

Jan. 6, 2014

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Bradley Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (11-3, 1-1) at Bradley (6-9, 1-1)

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
Tipoff: 7:07 p.m. (Central)
Location: Carver Arena (11,164), Peoria, Ill.
Series: MSU leads 31-18 (10-13 in Peoria)
TV: KCZ, The Ozarks CW and Missouri State Basketball 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: StatBroadcast
Live Video: Bradley All-Access
Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 15 Tickets | MSU Mini Ticket Plans

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears


  • Since Dec. 17, Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) has hit a 3-pointer in five straight games and is 6-for-11 (.545) from beyond the arc in that span. He is coming off an 8-point effort at Loyola in which he hit a pair of threes.
  • Four of the five Valley road teams scored 57 points or less in the games over this past weekend (Jan. 4-5).
  • MSU has matched its season win total from last season when the Bears finished 11-22 overall and 7-11 in the MVC.
  • The Bears wrap their only 3-game week of the MVC season with this Saturday’s home game vs. Wichita State (1/11).
  • Bradley snapped a 7-game losing streak with Saturday’s 68-57 home win over Drake. BU is 6-3 at home this year.
  • MSU’s bench players accounted for 21 of its 26 individual rebounds (80.8%) at Loyola and 35 of its 57 points (61.4%).
  • The Bears have registered double-figure offensive rebounds 5 games in a row (11.2 offensive boards per game).
  • Missouri State is 11-0 this season when holding its opponents under 50 percent shooting from the field. The Bears are 0-3 when their foes shoot 50 percent or better.
  • Despite getting 35 bench points in Sunday’s game at Loyola, the Bears were outscored by the Ramblers’ reserves, 38-35. It was just the fourth time in 14 games, MSU’s subs have been bettered by their opposition.
  • Devon Thomas (Fr., G, Silver Spring, Md.) is coming off a career-high 10 points with a pair of assists and a couple of rebounds in a 17-minute assignment at Loyola.
  • Gavin Thurman (So., F, Wichita, Kan.) tallied a game-high (and season-high) 7 rebounds at Loyola as he logged 15 minutes against the Ramblers and tallied 9 points.


    The series between the Bears and Braves dates back to 1991 when MSU joined the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears lead the series 31-18, including a 10-13 ledger in Peoria and 6 wins in the last 10 meetings overall.
 MSU head coach Paul Lusk is 3-1 against the Braves, including a 1-1 mark at Carver Arena. Last year, the teams split two meetings with the Braves scoring a 69-66 decision at Carver (1/19/13) on a trey at the buzzer by Walt Lemon, Jr.  MSU avenged the loss on senior night at JQH Arena (3/2/13) as Anthony Downing and Christian Kirk scored 15 apiece for the Bears who committed just 3 turnovers in a 64-56 victory.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 38-41 (.481) in his third season at MSU and 40-64 (.385) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 17-21 in MVC games (11-7 at home, 6-14 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, 12-20 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 3-1 all-time against Bradley, including a 1-1 mark at Carver Arena.
 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).


  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).

LAST GAME (Jan. 5)

   Devon Turk scored 30 points off the bench and helped his team shoot over 60 percent from the field to lift Loyola to an 89-57 win in the Ramblers’ first-ever Missouri Valley Conference home game. 
 Turk was 13-for-13 at the line, 6-for-9 from the field and 5-for-8 beyond the arc in an impressive display for the home side as he led five Loyola players in double figures.
 Missouri State, whose three-game win streak was snapped, got 11 points from Marcus Marshall, a career-high 10 from Devon Thomas off the bench. Gavin Thurman added 9 points and a game-high 7 rebounds for the Bears.
 After trailing by 14 at the half, Missouri State found itself down 49-30 just over two minutes into the second stanza. Coach Paul Lusk then turned things over to his second unit which eventually cut the Bears’ deficit to 12 points. Thurman, Thomas and Ron Mvouika started the rally which culminated in a steal and dunk by Thomas to make it a 60-48 contest with 10:26 to go.
 Loyola then called a 30-second timeout, and the Ramblers responded by reeling off the game’s next 14 points in just over a two-minute span.  By the time MSU scored its next field goal with less than four minutes left in the game, Loyola had built its lead to 85-53 with a 25-5 outburst that took just over six minutes.
 In the first half, Loyola turned 9 MSU turnovers into 14 points and led 42-28 at the break. Turk tallied 15 points in the opening period with three 3-pointers and a 6-for-6 effort at the line.
 The Bears, who led 7-5 less than four minutes into the contest, found themselves down 18-14 with eight-and-a-half minutes left in the half before Turk took over. The sophomore from Houston would score the Ramblers’ next 12 points and pushed the home squad ahead by double-figures, 30-20, four minutes later.
 The Bears rallied late in the half on a pair of 3-pointers by Nathan Scheer and a layup by Dorrian Williams in the span of just over a minute, but Loyola dropped in a pair of treys as well, including one by Turk, to go into the intermission ahead by 14.



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