Third-Place Bears Return Home to Face Drake
Jr., G/F, Ron Mvouika
Jr., G/F, Ron Mvouika

Feb. 10, 2014

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Missouri State Bears (16-8, 6-6 MVC) vs. Drake (12-12, 3-9 MVC)

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: MSU leads 37-11 (MSU leads 22-1 in Springfield, 5-0 at JQH)
TV: ESPN3 (Scott Warmann, Jayice Pearson)
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: GameTracker (mobile friendly)
Live Video:  Bears All-Access  |  ESPN3
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The Last Meeting
Missouri State74
January 29, 2014
Des Moines, Iowa
Late Surge by Drake Sinks Bears in Des Moines
A 16-2 run by Drake, in crunch time sealed the fate of visiting Missouri State (14-7, 4-5 MVC) as the Bears let a late lead slip away in an 84-74 road loss to the Bulldogs here Wednesday in MVC play.

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears


  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) has posted 10 straight double-figure scoring games, the longest run of his MSU career, and has four double-doubles in his last 9 MVC games. The Bears are 7-0 when he scores 18 or more.
  • Missouri State is 21-1 all-time at home against Drake.  The Bulldogs' only win in Springfield was Feb. 21, 2001.
  • Drake enters the week ranked 14th nationally in 3-point percentage (.399), tops in The Valley.
  • Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) is the 16th freshman in MSU history to accumulate 200 or more points in his rookie campaign. He is just the fifth Bear in 10 years to reach the milestone, along with teammates Marcus Marshall &Thurman.
  • Dorrian Williams (So., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.) ranks 14th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.19) and is second in the MVC this week. In league games, his ratio is an impressive (3.44) with the same number of turnovers (16) as league leader Fred Van Vleet of Wichita.
  • MSU has won 12 of its last 13 home games and has not lost in regulation at JQH Arena since 2/19/13 (UNI).
  • Ron Mvouika (Jr., G/F, Paris) is averaging 10.0 rebounds over the last 2 games and 11.0 points over the last 4 contests.
  • Drake's Richard Carter has made 133 free throws this season, which ranks 28th among all Division I players.
  • In Saturday's loss to SIU, the Bears' bench players outscored the starters by a 29-25 margin and out-rebounded the starters 17-14. The 29-point effort by MSU's reserves marked the 19th time this season, the bench has accounted for 20 points or more.
  • Devon Thomas (Fr., G, Silver Spring, Md.) is coming off a career-high 11-point outing at Southern Illinois where he was 4-for-5 from the field with 4 rebounds and his first career 3-pointer).


  With Drake's 84-74 win in Des Moines on Jan. 29, the Bulldogs snapped a 7-game Bears win streak in a rivalry that dates back to 1986. Missouri State leads the series 37-11, including a 21-1 mark in Springfield.
 Last year in Springfield, MSU scored a 78-72 decision at JQH (1/27/13) as the Bears started four freshmen for the first time in school history to help the team shoot 56.3 percent from the field. Anthony Downing scored 26, Keith Pickens added 19, and MSU knocked down 11 3-pointers. Ben Simons tallied 19 points for Drake, which also got 17 from Micah Mason and 12 from Seth VanDeest.
 At the Knapp Center on Jan. 29, Drake went on a 16-2 run late in the game to seal the 10-point win as Austin Ruder scored 21 for MSU on 6-of-9 from 3-point range, while Ron Mvouika scored 13 and Jarmar Gulley added 12. Richard Carter went 16-of-19 at the line to lead DU with 23.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 43-46 (.483) in his third season at MSU and 47-69 (.405) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 22-26 in MVC games (14-8 at home, 8-18 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 27-15 in all home games, 14-24 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 4-1 against Drake (2-0 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).


  MSU hosts UNI at 8 p.m., Saturday in an ESPNU national telecast before playing its final mid-week road game on Feb. 18 at Illinois State (7:05 p.m.). The Bears return home Feb. 22 against Indiana State (Noon) and Feb. 25 against Loyola (7:05 p.m.) to close out the regular-season home slate.

LAST GAME (Feb. 8)

    Southern Illinois' Anthony Beane scored 13 of his game-high 26 points in the first 8 minutes of the second half to blow open what was a close game early in a 72-54 Salukis win over visiting Missouri State (16-8, 6-6) here Saturday in MVC play.
   Desmar Jackson added 11 points for Southern Illinois (10-15, 6-6), which won its fourth in a row.
   Jarmar Gulley paced MSU with 15 points, while Devon Thomas scored a career-high 11 before fouling out. Ron Mvouika added 7 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for Missouri State, which had won 9 of the last 10 meetings with SIU.
   With the Salukis holding a 29-27 lead at the break, Gulley scored the first point of the second half on a free throw that made it a one-point game 18 seconds into the final stanza.  But the floodgates opened from there as Paul Lusk's squad managed just one field goal over the next 13 minutes
   "We had the game in a good position to start the second half," Lusk said. "And then it started to crumble. We had some very bad turnovers."
   Missouri State finished with 14 turnovers in the game - 7 in each half - and SIU took advantage of every Bears' mishap and mistake at critical points. At the 18:48 mark, Beane turned a 3-point game into 34-29 Saluki lead on a floater up close, and less than a minute later knocked down a 3-pointer after MSU missed a pair of early free throw attempts.
   Gulley scored a layup to make it a 37-31 contest with just under 17 minutes remaining, but MSU would go the next 10 minutes without a field goal and converted just 7-of-11 at the line in that span. On the other end, Beane and the Salukis got it rolling with Beane knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and a fade-away 19-footer as the shot clock expired to pace a 23-7 outburst by the home side.
   With nine-and-a-half minutes to go, SIU capitalized on a long possession that saw the Bears called for 3 fouls, while a ball stuck on the rim kept possession with the Salukis on the alternating arrow. Beane knocked down a pair of free throws to end the back-breaking possession and made it a 20-point game for the first time.
   Southern would build its lead to as many as 23 and finished the second half 6-of-8 from 3-point range while converting 54 percent of its second-half shots.  Barry Hinson's squad finished 26-of-54 (.481) from the field and 9-of-17 (.529) from beyond the arc with 10 turnovers and 7 steals.
   For their part, Missouri State's reserves kept battling to the end and helped the Bears match SIU on the boards, 34-34 for the game. Gavin Thurman, Mvouika, Bruce Marshall and Emmanuel Addo all scored for the visitors in the final 5 minutes to chip away at the deficit and get the final margin under 20.
   Missouri State finished 17-of-45 (.378) from the field - 32 percent in the second half - and 2-of-14 (.143) from long range while converting 18-of-26 (.692) at the line.
   In the first half, MSU out-rebounded the Salukis 17-14, but gave up 3 critical 3-pointers, two of which erased one-point Bear leads. After a 6-0 MSU run pushed the visitors ahead 15-13 midway through the half, Sean O'Brien answered with a key trey to give the advantage back to the home club, 16-15.  Late in the half, after O'Brien missed the back end of a two-shot free throw opportunity, Thomas snagged the rebound for the Bears and took it coast-to-coast to give MSU a 27-26 edge.  But SIU responded quickly on a trey from Beane with 33 seconds left in the stanza to give the Salukis a 29-27 lead at the intermission



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