Bears Begin Home Stand Tuesday vs. Aces
Missouri State begins a critical MVC stretch Tuesday with a visit from Evansville and the league's top scorer
Jan. 20, 2014
Missouri State Game Notes
Evansville Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (12-6, 2-4 MVC) vs. Evansville (9-10, 2-4 MVC)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: MSU leads 31-27 (MSU leads 18-7 in Springfield, 4-1 at JQH)
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 19 Tickets | Half-Price Upper-Level Tickets | MSU Students Free with BearPass ID | MVC 6-Pack Ticket Plans
NOTE: The MSU Athletics Box Office will open at 10 a.m., Monday through Saturday this week.
The Last Meeting
February 2, 2013
Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears
THE TEN COUNT
- Ron Mvouika (Jr., G/F, Paris, France) scored 28 points at UNI (1/18/14) in his first start with the Bears and set an MSU record by going 6-for-6 from 3-point range in the game, while finishing 10-for-13 (.769) overall from the field. He is this week's MVC Newcomer of the Week.
- MSU has won 10 of its last 11 home games and has not lost in regulation at JQH Arena since 2/19/13 (UNI).
- Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) is averaging 18.3 points over the last four games and is 5th in The Valley in soring (16.5) in league games.
- Evansville sophomore D.J. Balentine is the top scorer in the MVC (22.2 ppg) and ranks 9th nationally in points per game. He also leads the league in 3-pointers (2.3).
- Missouri State’s 59.3 field goal percentage at UNI on Saturday was the club’s best shooting effort on the road since shooting the same (32-for-54) percentage at Bradley on 1/19/11, nearly three years ago to the day.
- Dorrian Williams (So., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.) ranks 2nd in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0) and has started four straight games. In 6 Valley games, he has 23 assists with just 7 turnovers (3.29).
- Including this game, Missouri State will play seven of its next 11 MVC games at JQH Arena.
The Bears are 10-0 this season when making 14 or more free throws.
- Missouri State’s 12 3-pointers at UNI on Saturday marked the Bears’ most makes from bonus distance since the 2011 NIT second-round game at Miami (Fla.), 3/21/11.
- Austin Ruder (Fr., G, Nixa, Mo.) has drained a 3-pointer in 16 of his first 18 college games and has made multiple 3-pointers in 11-of-18 games. He is on pace to become just the third MSU freshman to hit 50 treys in a season.
The series between the Bears and Aces dates back to the 1959 NAIA national championship game. The clubs have met 58 times with the Bears now owning a 31-27 lead, including an 18-7 lead in Springfield (4-1 at JQH Arena).
Last year, Evansville beat the Bears 62-59 in overtime at the Ford Center (1/2/13), marking the third OT game in four tries between the clubs. Anthony Downing led MSU with 17 points, while Nathan Scheer added 10 off the bench.
MSU avenged the loss at JQH Arena (2/2/13) with a 62-61 decision to overcome an 11-point home deficit. Marcus Marshall led the Bears with 14 points, while Christian Kirk added 12, and Scheer scored 11.
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 39-44 (.481) in his third season at MSU and 42-67 (.393) in his fourth season overall as a head coach. He is 18-24 in MVC games (11-8 at home, 7-16 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, 13-22 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 1-4 against Evansville (1-1 at JQH 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).
LAST GAME (Jan. 20)
Missouri State got a career-high 28 points from junior Ron Mvouika and shot 59.3 percent from the field in a narrow 94-89 road loss to Northern Iowa. Mvouika’s 6-for-6 effort from 3-point range was a Bears’ single-game record, helping him finish 10-for-13 from the field overall.
However, UNI shot a remarkable 67.4 percent from the field and got 26 points from Nate Buss and 21 from Seth Tuttle to remain unbeaten at home this season and ruin MSU’s comeback efforts.
The Bears dropped in a season-high 12 3-pointers, including seven in the second half. Jarmar Gulley added 16 points, while Tyler McCullough scored a career-high 13, and Austin Ruder scored 11.
The Bears erased a 13-point deficit with a solid second-half run paced by McCullough and Mvouika, but it was Gavin Thurman’s 3-pointer with 9:10 left in the game that gave Missouri State its first lead of the day, 61-59. It took the Panthers just 30 seconds to retake the lead on a trey by Max Martino, and UNI pushed ahead 65-61 moments later with a long ball from Matt Bohannon.
The Bears would rally within two on their next two possessions on a hook shot by Gulley and a dunk by Christian Kirk before Buss knocked down his fifth 3-pointer of the game. Mvouika scored off the glass with 6:13 to go to trim UNI’s lead to 70-67, but Northern Iowa reeled off 9 unanswered points over the next two-and-a-half minutes to make it a 79-67 contest at the 3:50 mark.
UNI would manage just one field goal the rest of the way and made just 13-of-18 free throws down the stretch to open the doors for a Bears comeback run.
McCullough scored the first four points to cut the Panthers’ lead to 8, and Mvouika would knock down a trey and a layup with a Gulley basket mixed in to make it a five-point game with 93 seconds left. Mvouika and Dorrian Williams combined to make 3-of-4 free throws in the crunch, and then Ruder dropped in a huge 3-pointer with 25.6 seconds left to make it an 88-86 contest.
Mvouika was forced to foul Tuttle on the ensuing play, disqualifying the Frenchman on his fifth foul, while Tuttle responded with both makes to stretch it to 90-86. The Panthers then padded their lead to six on free throws by Wes Washpun with 10 seconds showing.
Ruder made things interesting again with another clutch 3-pointer five seconds later, but Tuttle made it a two-possession game and essentially clinched the victory as he made a pair of charity shots with 4.6 seconds to go to seal it.