Bears Wrap Road Swing Saturday at UNI
So., F, Gavin Thurman
So., F, Gavin Thurman

Jan. 16, 2014

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

Missouri State Bears (12-5, 2-3) at Northern Iowa (9-8, 3-2)

Date: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014
Tipoff: 12:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: McLeod Center (6,650), Cedar Falls, Iowa
Series: MSU leads 40-25 (18-13 in Cedar Falls)
TV: ESPNU (Mitch Holthus, Tim Welsh) |  Watch ESPN
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Live Video: none
Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 18 Tickets | MSU Mini Ticket Plans

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears


  • Marcus Marshall (So., G, St. Paul, Minn.) underwent surgery on Jan. 15 to repair a torn meniscus and will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season. The 2013 MVC Freshman of the Year was averaging a team-high 14.3 ppg.
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) is this week’s MVC Player of the Week after he scored a career-high 26 points in last week’s win at Bradley and followed that with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a narrow OT loss to No. 6 Wichita State last Saturday. He averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the week.
  • UNI is 6-0 at home this season and has wins in four of its last six games. MSU is 2-5 all-time in the McLeod Center.
  • Bears head coach Paul Lusk is chasing his 40th win at MSU. He is 39-43 in his third season with the Bears.
  • Saturday’s game ends a brutal three-game stretch for the Bears that has included games against the top-three projected teams in the MVC (in order) -- Wichita State (1/11), Indiana State (1/15) and UNI (1/18).
  • Gavin Thurman (So., F, Wichita, Kan.) has scored 9 points in each of his last three outings, including his first start of the season in Wednesday’s game at Indiana State. He also has knocked down a 3-pointer in every game in that span.
  • MSU is playing its fourth Valley road contest in six tries but will play seven of its next 11 MVC games at JQH Arena.
  • Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) is averaging a team-best 15.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on the road this season while scoring at a 13.3 point-per-game clip at home.
  • Gulley and WSU’s Cleanthony Early are the only players to rank in the MVC’s top 7 in scoring and rebounding
  • After a successful 10-2 non-conference run in which the Bears averaged 75.2 points and shot 71.8 percent from the line, MSU has accounted for just 65.4 points per night in league play and a 61.9 percent clip at the charity stripe.


    The series between the Bears and Panthers dates back to the 1982-83 campaign, MSU’s debut season at the Division I level. Missouri State leads the all-time series, 40-25, although UNI has won 8 of the last 10 meetings. The Bears are 18-13 all-time in Cedar Falls.
 Last year, UNI won the first matchup (2/5/13) in McLeod Center by a 48-37 decision as the Bears shot a dismal 15-for-55 from the field and 3-of-21 from beyond the arc. Anthony Downing (9), Dorrian Williams (8) and Christian Kirk (8) led MSU’s scoring.
 The Panthers then improved to 4-1 at JQH Arena on 2/19/13 with a 69-63 decision in Springfield. A 10-2 UNI run to start the second half was the difference as Kirk scored 12 and Marcus Marshall set a career-high with 25.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 39-43 (.481) in his third season at MSU and 42-66 (.393) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 18-23 in MVC games (11-8 at home, 7-15 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 24-15 in all home games, 13-21 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 1-3 against Northern Iowa (0-2 in Cedar Falls).
 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 program high-water marks for most games against ranked opponents (6) and the best season scoring total for a freshman class (855).


  Missouri State returns home Tuesday, Jan. 21 to play Evansville (7:05 p.m.) as part of a two-game home stand that will also include a WHITE OUT on Saturday, Jan. 25 against Southern Illinois at 7 p.m., on FOX Sports Midwest. Tickets at (417) 836-7678 or

LAST GAME (Jan. 15)

   Manny Arop and Khristian Smith each scored 14 points, and Indiana State (14-3, 5-0) rolled past visiting Missouri State, 70-55, here Wednesday in Missouri Valley Conference play.
   The Bears, who dropped a second straight game for the first time this season, were without the services of sophomore guard Marcus Marshall who underwent season-ending surgery earlier in the day to repair a severly torn meniscus. His absence and 14.3 points per game average were evident in the 15-point loss.
 Jarmar Gulley led all scorers with 15 points for Missouri State, while Gavin Thurman and Devon Thomas added 9 apiece. Thomas also added 4 assists.
 Indiana State got 10 assists from Jake Odum, including 9 in the first half, and finished an even 26-for-52 from the field with 7 3-pointers. The Bears out-rebounded the Sycamores by a 33-32 margin and committed just 10 turnovers.
 After leading by a dozen at the intermission, Indiana State scored the first four points of the second half and took their biggest lead of the game to that point 43-27 less than three minutes into the second period. The Bears shifted to a zone defense and responded with a 7-0 run to climb back within 43-34 with just over 16 minutes to play. However, the momentum was short-lived, and ISU got 3-pointers from Arop and Odum as part of a 16-6 run over the next six minutes to take a commanding 19-point advantage into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
 The Bears would score six of the game’s final eight points to keep the final margin respectable, but finished 20-for-46 (.435) from the field and just 2-for-12 (.167) from long range with a season-low field goals beyond the arc.
 In the first half, Indiana State shot 52 percent from the field and didn’t commit any turnovers to rush out to a 39-27 lead at the break.
 The Sycamores led by as many as 14 at the 11:38 mark after Justin Gant reeled off 4 points in the span of two seconds and made it a 21-7 game. The Bears stormed back with a 20-12 run over the next eight minutes to cut the deficit to 33-27 after Thomas scored in transition with just under four minutes left in the opening period.
 But ISU ended the first half with another offensive flurry as Arop scored in transition, Dawon Cummings dropped in a one-hander, and Arop knocked down a layup in the final seconds to push the home club back ahead by 12.



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