Bears Host No. 20 Wichita State on Wednesday for JQH "Maroon Out"
Forward - Gavin Thurman
Forward - Gavin Thurman

Jan. 21, 2013

  |  MSU Game Notes (PDF)  |  Wichita State Game Notes (PDF)

Missouri State Bears (5-14, 3-4) vs. #20 Wichita State (17-2, 6-1)

The Last Meeting
Missouri State58
(24) Wichita State73
February 15, 2012
Wichita, Kan.
Bears Fall at No. 24 Wichita State, 73-58
No. 24 Wichita State (23-4, 14-2) used 11 three-pointers and a double-double from Garrett Stutz to turn back visiting Missouri State (16-12, 9-7) here Wednesday in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Jan. 23, 2013, JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo., 7:05 p.m. (CT)



The Ten Count

  • Gavin Thurman (Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) is averaging 9.3 points per game in Valley play with a team-best 12 3-pointers. He has posted double-figure scoring efforts in four of his last five games, including three in a row.
  • On their recent two-game road swing, the Bears out-rebounded Indiana State and Bradley by a total of 58-51, shot 47 percent from the field and knocked down 74 percent of their free throws.
  • The Shockers rank 12th nationally in rebound margin (+8.3) and lead the Valley in scoring defense (60.1), FG Pct. defense (.395) and blocks (4.8).
  • WSU 7-footer Ehimen Orukpe is 32nd in the nation -- and tops in the Valley -- with 2.38 blocks per game.
  • Anthony Downing (Sr., Atchison, Kan.) has scored in double figures in 17 straight games at JQH Arena.
  • MSU is facing its fourth Top 25 foe of the season, matching the 1998-99 season for the most in school history. The Bears’ three home games against ranked opponents is a new high-water mark in the program’s history.
  • The Bears have used 10 different starting lineups this season, just one shy of the club’s season total from last year.
  • Christian Kirk (So., F, Springfield, Mo.) is the only Bears’ player to score in every game this season. He has started 18 of 19 games this year, including 15 in a row, and has earned the starting call in 32 of MSU’s last 36 contests.
  • Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) was 6-for-6 at the line with 13 points and a career-high 5 assists at Bradley.
  • MSU’s 46 points in the second half at Bradley on Saturday marked the club’s top scoring period of the Lusk era.

Setting the Stage

  After a pair of narrow road losses last week, the Bears return home Wednesday to take on Valley front runner Wichita State at JQH Arena.  
 Missouri State is coming off a valiant performance at Bradley on Saturday (Jan. 19), a game that saw the Bears overcome a 16-point deficit to tie the game, 66-66, with 4.3 seconds left. Bradley narrowly escaped the Bears’ feverish comeback with an off-balance, 28-foot bank shot at the horn by Walt Lemon, Jr., that gave the Braves a 69-66 win.  Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.), Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) and Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) each tallied 13 points in the loss, including Downing’s game-tying shot in the final few seconds and a 4-for-5 effort by Thurman from beyond the arc. MSU’s freshmen accounted for 43 combined points, while the club’s 46 points in the second half marked the most in any half under Paul Lusk.
 The Shockers have reeled off 17 wins in their first 19 games this winter and come to town with a two-game winning streak. WSU handled No. 12 Creighton, 67-64, on Saturday at Koch Arena to move into a first-place tie in the Valley standings. Carl Hall (6-8, Sr., F, Cochran, Ga.) notched team highs 17 points and 13 rebounds to lift the Shockers over CU and overcome a 38-percent team shooting performance.

Head Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 21-30 (.412) in his second season at MSU and 23-53 (.289) in his third season overall as a head coach.  He is 12-13 in the MVC (6-6 at home, 6-7 on the road), 9-16 in non-conference play (6-6 at JQH Arena, 3-6 away and 0-5 at neutral sites).  He is also 12-12 in all home games, 9-13 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He is 0-2 against WSU (0-1 at JQH).
 The 41-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 15th 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.
 He returns five lettermen and six squad members from a 16-16 club that tied for third place in the Missouri Valley standings a year ago. His Bears were picked sixth in last year’s preseason MVC poll, but finished three spots higher, earning him MVC Coach of the Year.

The Series

  Missouri State leads the all-time series between the clubs, 30-29, in a rivalry that dates back to the 1941-42 season.
 The Bears are 20-7 against the Shockers in Springfield, including a 2-2 mark at JQH Arena. MSU is also 6-20 in Wichita and 4-2 at neutral sites against WSU.
 Missouri State swept the season series from the Shockers in 2010-11, and then Wichita returned the favor last year with a 74-67 win at JQH Arena and a 73-58 victory at Koch Arena.  In the latter, the No. 24 Shockers hit 11 3-pointers and got a double-double from Garrett Stutz (21 points, 10 rebounds) to take the 15-point win. MSU trailed just 34-32 at the half, and got a team-high 17 points from Anthony Downing, while Caleb Patterson added 14, and Kyle Weems scored 10.

The Opponent

   Sixth-year Shockers head coach Gregg Marsahll (Randolph-Macon, 1985) is 126-64 (.663) at WSU and 320-147 (.685) in his 15th season overall.  He coached nine seasons at Winthrop prior to coming to Wichita and is 9-3 all-time against the Bears.
 Topping the list of six returning lettermen returning for the Shockers is the club’s lone returning starter from the 27-6 NCAA Tournament squad -- Carl Hall (Sr., F, cochran, Ga.) who is averaging 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season. Hall was the 2012 MVC Newcomer of the Year.
 WSU has three junior college transfers, a one-year senior transfer and three freshmen who make up a balanced class of Shocker newcomers, including Oregon transfer Malcolm Armstead

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