Bears Hit the Road for Saturday Battle with Rival Shockers
Guard - Dorrian Williams
Guard - Dorrian Williams

Feb. 7, 2013

  |  MSU Game Notes (PDF)  | 

Missouri State Bears (7-17, 5-7) at Wichita State (19-5, 8-4)

The Last Meeting
(20) Wichita State62
Missouri State52
January 23, 2013
Springfield, Mo.
Shockers Bounce Off Canvas to Escape with a 62-52 Victory Wednesday at JQH
The Bears (5-15, 3-5) dropped their fourth straight league game despite a career-high 21 points from Wichita native Gavin Thurman and 14 from Anthony Downing.

Feb. 9, 2013, Koch Arena (10,506), Wichita, Kan., 6:30 p.m. (CT)



The Ten Count

  • Wichita State is the only Valley program MSU coach Paul Lusk has not defeated through his first 30 league games.
  • Dorrian Williams (RFr., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.) is 13-for-24 (.542) from the field over the last seven games and 6-for-11 (.545) from 3-point range over the last three contests.
  • MSU had 201 free throw attempts in 12 non-conference games and has 199 through 12 Valley games. The difference has been accuracy where the Bears have improved from 58.7 percent to 72.4 percent since the start of league play.
  • The Bears are on pace to boast five players with 20 or more 3-pointers for the first time.
  • Marcus Marshall (28), Downing (27), Scheer (26) and Thurman (23) have reached the milestone with Williams (16) closing in.
  • Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) has notched three straight 9-point games, but has accounted for 6.0 rebounds per game in that stretch, tops on the team.
  • Only five freshman classes in the history of the program have compiled 500+ points:  1963-64 (735), 2003-04 (707),2012-13 (649), 1991-92 (535) and 1996-97 (511).
  • MSU’s 37-point output at UNI on Tuesday was its lowest-ever in Valley play and lowest overall since Jan. 14, 1952.
  • In this week’s NCAA rankings, Missouri State is 10th in turnovers per game (10.7), tops in the MVC.
  • Christian Kirk (So., F, Springfield, Mo.) is averaging 10.0 points over the last 3 games, all of the bench.
  • Missouri State will travel to Eastern Michigan for the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters on Feb. 23 (3:30 p.m.).

Setting the Stage

  Missouri State wraps a two-game Valley road swing Saturday when the Bears travel to Wichita State to take on the nationally-ranked Shockers. The game will tip at 6:30 p.m. and air live on FOX Sports Midwest PLUS and the MVC TV Network.
 The Bears have split their last four Valley games and have won their last two weekend contests as they head to one of the nation’s best college basketball environments. In spite of Tuesday’s offensive drought in Cedar Falls (37 points, 27.3 FG%), MSU is averaging 63.5 points and shooting at a 44.6 percent clip over that four-game span while committing just 8.75 turnovers.
 WSU, which is No. 22 in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll and is receiving votes in the AP poll, is 1-3 overall and has lost three in a row since the Bears last saw the Shockers on Jan. 23 in Springfield. WSU is averaging just 56.3 points during its three-game league skid and is 12-1 at home this season.

Head Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 23-33 (.411) in his second season at MSU and 25-56 (.309) in his third season overall as a head coach.  He is 14-16 in the MVC (8-7 at home, 6-9 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 14-13 in all home games, 9-15 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He is 0-3 against WSU (0-1 at Koch).
 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 and Wichita State have split the first 60 meetings of their rivalry that dates back to the 1941-42 season. The Bears are 6-20 all-time in Wichita, but two of their last three losses at Koch Arena have been by one and two points, respectively.
 WSU has won three in a row in the series, including a 62-52 win at JQH in Springfield earlier this season (Jan. 23).  In that game, the Shockers got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Cleanthony Early plus 15 points off the bench by Carl Hall pull away in the second half.  The Bears got a bulk of their points from their Kansas connection -- a career-high 21 points from Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) against his hometown club, while Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) tallied 14 points.

The Opponent

   Sixth-year Shockers head coach Gregg Marsahll (Randolph-Macon, 1985) is 127-67 (.655) at WSU and 321-150 (.682) in his 15th season overall. He coached nine seasons at Winthrop prior to coming to Wichita and is 10-3 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 12.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season. Hall was the 2012 MVC Newcomer of the Year. WSU has three junior college transfers, inclding the team’s top scorer Cleanthony Early (Jr., F, Middletown, N.Y., 14.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg), plus a one-year senior transfer in Oregon transfer Malcolm Armstead (Sr., G, Florence, Ala., 9.0 ppg).

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