Bears Return Home Tuesday for Shot at Valley Co-Leaders
Guard - Marcus Marshall
Guard - Marcus Marshall

Feb. 11, 2013

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

Missouri State Bears (7-18, 5-8) vs. Evansville (13-9, 6-4)

Feb. 12, 2013, JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo., 7:00 p.m. (CT)

The Ten Count

  • Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) is appearing in his 50th career Valley game.
  • Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) has scored 9 points in each of his last four ball games, including three road games. The Bears’ only active senior has posted double figures at JQH in 19 of his last 20 home contests.
  • Keith Pickens (Jr., F, St. Louis, Mo.) needs 8 points to reach 400 for his career. The Indiana State game will be his 85th career game, and he is averaging 5.6 points in 5 career games vs. the Sycamores (all starts).
  • Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) needs 15 points to become MSU’s 15th freshman to score 200 in a season.
  • MSU’s freshman class is 52 points away from tying the team freshman scoring record of 735 (1963-64). The Bears rank 13th nationally in freshman scoring percentage (45.8), 17th in freshman points (683) and 23rd in scoring avg. (27.3).
  • The Bears have outshot their opponents in free throw percentage seven straight games, including an .857 effort at Wichita State on Saturday. MSU made just 58.7% of its non-conference foul shots and has made 73.2% in MVC games.
  • Dorrian Williams (RFr., G, Oklahoma City, Okla.) has made six treys over his last four games and started 7 straight.
  • For the season, MSU has had five freshmen on the floor at the same time just 11 minutes, 58 seconds, most of which took place in Saturday’s game at Wichita, where the Bears’ pups played 7 minutes, 32 seconds together.
  • Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) is coming off a game-high and career-high 19 points at No. 22 WSU.
  • The Bears rank 7th nationally in turnovers per game (10.5), tops in the MVC and up three spots from last week.

Setting the Stage

  The Missouri State Bears return to JQH Arena Tuesday to take on the red-hot Indiana State Sycamores in a key rematch between the squads on FOX Sports Midwest and the MVC TV Network.
 Coach Greg Lansing’s club is the hottest team in The Valley with six wins in the Sycamores’ last eight games, including two in a row.
 MSU leads the all-time series between the teams, 37-22, but ISU has enjoyed the role of spoiler when it comes to the Bears in recent years. The Sycamores dashed MSU’s Valley Tournamenthopes in 2011 with a 60-56 win in the MVC Finals at Scottrade, and then dashed Senior Night at The Q last season, 59-46.Earlier this season in Terre Haute, Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) scored a gamehigh 18 points and Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) added 12 points and 7 rebounds, but a 17-3 run early in the second half by ISU spoiled an MSU halftime lead in an eventual 68-60 defeat.
 All-MVC standout Jake Odum (Jr., G, Terre Haute, Ind.) leads ISU with 14.2 points per game and an amazing 186 free throw attempts. Gonzaga transfer Manny Arop (Jr., F, Edmonton, Alberta) is putting up 12.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per night with 25 3-pointers.

Head Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 23-34 (.404) in his second season at MSU and 25-57 (.305) in his third season overall as a head coach.  He is 14-17 in the MVC (8-7 at home, 6-10 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, 9-16 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He is 1-2 against ISU (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

  The series between the Bears and Sycamores dates back to the 1951-52 season with Missouri State holding a 37-22 all-time lead in the rivalry.
 MSU is 24-5 against ISU in Springfield, including a 2-2 mark at JQH Arena. Last year the Sycamores played the role of spoiler on Senior Night at The Q, scoring a 59-46 win (Feb. 22, 2012) with Dwayne Lathan leading three ISU players in double figures with 12 points. The Bears shot a season-low 31.3 percent from the field, never led and lost on Senior Night for just the third time in their Division I era.
 They Sycamores also earned a 68-60 victory in Terre Haute earlier this season (Jan. 16). A 17-3 ISU run early in the second half sunk the maroon squad, despite a game-high 18 points from Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) and 12 points from Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.).
 ISU has not won three in a row against the Bears since a six-game streak from 1970-76.

The Opponent

   Greg Lansing (South Dakota, 1990) is 53-37 in his third season at Indiana State and overall.  He has one starter -- All-MVC second-teamer Jake Odum (6-4, Jr., G, Terre Haute, Ind.) -- back from an 18-15 club that was 8-10 (8th) in the league last year and earned a spot in the 2012 CIT.  
 This winter, Odum once again leads the Sycamores with 14.2 points and 4.3 rebounds along with team-bests 106 assists and 38 steals. Manny Arop (6-6, Jr., F, Edmonton, Alberta), a transfer from Gonzaga, had pitched in 12.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Returner R.J. Mahurin (6-8, Jr., F, Rockville, Ind.)  is scoring 9.8 points per outing, while with Justin Gant (6-8, So., C, Terre Haute, Ind.) is scoring 9.2 points with a team-high 4.6 rebounds in Valley games.
 ISU is 4-6 on the road this season, including a 2-4 away ledger in Missouri Valley Conference games



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