Bears Entertain No. 6 Shockers Saturday
Missouri State will host the highest-ranked team ever to play in Springfield when the Bears host No. 6 Wichita State at 7 p.m. Saturday at JQH Arena
Jan. 9, 2014
Missouri State Game Notes
Wichita State Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (12-3, 2-1 MVC) vs. #6 Wichita State (16-0, 3-0 MVC)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: WSU leads 32-30 (MSU leads 20-8 in Springfield)
TV: ESPN3.com (Scott Warmann, Rich Zvosec)
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: GameTracker (mobile friendly)
Live Video: Bears All-Access
Listen Live: RadioSpringfield.com
Tickets: Game 16 Tickets | MSU Students Free with BearPass ID | MVC 6-Pack Ticket Plans
NOTE: The MSU Athletics Box Office will open at 10 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
THE TEN COUNT
- Wichita State is the highest-ranked opponent the Bears have ever played at home and just the sixth top-10 foe Missouri State has ever played (1-4). MSU defeated #7 Wisconsin (11/24/06) in its last top-10 matchup.
- The Bears have won 9 straight games at JQH Arena and are now 68-25 (.731) in their six seasons at “The Q.”
- Bears head coach Paul Lusk is chasing his 40th win at MSU. Wichita is the only Valley team (aside from newcomer Loyola) he has yet to defeat.
- MSU has surpassed its season win total from last season when the Bears finished 11-22 overall and 7-11 in the MVC.
- Missouri State is 7-0 this season when Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) scores 15 points or more and also 7-0 when Marcus Marshall (So., G, St. Paul, Minn.) scores 14 points or more.
- Wichita State (3-2) and UNI (4-1) are the only Valley teams with winning records at JQH Arena. All other current Valley foes are a combined 7-24 in the facility (3-21 over the last five seasons).
- Missouri State has overcome four halftime deficits already this season and has also bettered deficits of 8 points or more in seven of its 12 wins. The Bears are 8-0 when leading at the intermission and 4-3 when trailing.
- Missouri State is 12-0 this season when holding its opponents under 50 percent shooting from the field. The Bear are 0-3 when their foes shoot 50 percent or better.
- This game will feature three of the top five sophomore scorers in the Valley with MSU’s Marcus Marshall (G, St. Paul, Minn.) who is 2nd (14.3 ppg) along with WSU’s Ron Baker (3rd, 13.0) and Fred VanVleet (5th, 12.0).
- A win would put the Bears 10 games over .500 for the first time since 2010-11 and first time under Coach Paul Lusk.
The series between the Bears and Shockers dates back to the 1941-42 season with Wichita winning the last five in the rivalry to take a 32-30 lead. The Bears are 20-8 at home in the series (2-3 at JQH Arena).
WSU won all three meetings between the clubs last season, including a 62-52 decision in Springfield (1/23/13) despite a 21-point outburst by then-freshman Gavin Thurman. The Shockers won 79-50 in Wichita (2/9/13) with Marcus Marshall scoring 19 to lead the Bears, while Wichita State earned a 69-59 decision in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals (3/8/13) despite a game-high 25 from Marshall which tied an MVC Tourney freshman scoring record.
VALLEY WEEKNIGHT TICKETS
Missouri State Athletics announced it is making upper-level men's basketball seats available for half price for all remaining weekday games. The "Valley Weeknights" ticket special will make upper-level tickets available for as little as $5 when purchased on game days.
With the discount, all upper-bowl tickets for weeknight games will be available from $5 to $13.50, based on section preference and availability.
The MSU Athletics Box Office and call center will re-open Thursday at 10 a.m., at JQH Arena. Tickets for the Bears' MVC opener may be purchased in person or by phone at (417) 836-7678.
The Valley Weeknights special is also good for upcoming games against Evansville (Jan. 21), Drake (Feb. 12) and Loyola (Feb. 25).
COACH Paul Lusk
Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 39-41 (.488) in his third season at MSU and 42-64 (.396) in his fourth season overall as a head coach. He is 18-21 in MVC games (11-7 at home, 7-14 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, 13-20 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 0-5 all-time against Wichita State, including an 0-2 ledger 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).
Jarmar Gulley scored a career-high 26 points, and Marcus Marshall added 20 to help Missouri State to a 68-65 road win over Bradley.
The Bears overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and eight second-half lead changes to secure the victory.
Walt Lemon, Jr., scored 25 to lead four Bradley scorers in double figures, while Tyshon Pickett contributed 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for BU.
Gulley knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner on a pass from Marshall with a minute to go to put the Bears up 64-59. Gulley later gave MSU its largest lead of the night on a lead pass from Nathan Scheer that led to a Gulley layup in transition. He was fouled on the play and converted the free throw to make it 67-61 with 32.8 ticks to go.
Still, Bradley kept fighting and trimmed its deficit to two after a pair of free throws by Lemon and a layup by him after a Bears’ missed layup with 18.1 left.
Gulley was fouled again, and he made the front end of the one-and-one to make it 68-65. Pickett gathered the miss on the second shot and got the ball to Lemon who was trapped near the far sideline and could not get off a good shot before the buzzer.
The Bears were 15-for-25 from the field in the second half and shot 23-for-45 (.511) for the game with 10 3-pointers on 23 attempts (.435).
Bradley, which also got 10 points apiece from Omari Grier and Ka’Darryl Bell, shot .438 (21-for-48) from the field and 8-of-19 (.421) from bonus distance with 13 turnovers.
Missouri State scored the first four points of the second half and battled through the flurry of second-half lead changes to push ahead 61-56 on a 3-pointer by Austin Ruder at the 3:52 mark. The Bears would never trail again in a game that also had five ties.
In the first half, Bradley capitalized on six early MSU turnovers and garnered a 12-point advantage just over 10 minutes into the game. The Braves used a 10-0 run over a two-minute span to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 15-5 lead at the 13:46 mark. The Bears managed three free throws from there, before a trey by Greer gave BU its largest lead of the half, 20-8.
However, at the 8:24 mark, Scheer started the Missouri State rally with a free throw which ignited a 17-4 run to end the half and give the Bears a 28-27 lead at the break. Marshall connected on a 20-footer and a long-range 3-pointer before his traditional 3-point play with 27.6 seconds left in the opening stanza gave the Bears their first lead in more than 15 minutes.