Missouri State and Southern Illinois are coming off big home wins this week in advance of key MVC tilt
Feb. 14, 2013
| MSU Game Notes (PDF) | SIU Game Notes (PDF)
Missouri State Bears (8-18, 6-8) at Southern Illinois (10-15, 3-11)
The Last Meeting
December 30, 2012
Feb. 16, 2013, SIU Arena (8,339), Carbondale, Ill., 7:05 p.m. (CT)
The Ten Count
- Whristian Kirk (So., F, Springfield, Mo.) is averaging 9.2 points over last five games with three double-figure efforts.
- The Bears are 7-4 this season when leading at the half and 7-0 when leading with five minutes left.
- MSU head coach Paul Lusk earned his bachelor’s degree from SIU in 1995 and was a second-team All-MVC peformer for the Salukis in 1994. Lusk earned his master’s degree from MSU in 2000. Likewise, Bears’ assistant Derrick Tilmon (SIU, 2000) scored 605 points in three seasons with the Salukis from 1997-2000.
- Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan.) needs 9 points to become MSU’s 15th freshman to score 200 in a season.
- MSU is 26 points away from tying the team freshman scoring record of 735 points set in 1963-64. This week, the Bears rank 13th nationally in freshman scoring percentage (45.8) and 17th in freshman points (683). (see p. 8)
- Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) leads all Valley freshmen in scoring (10.5 ppg). SIU’s Anthony Beane, Jr., is second (9.6 ppg), and Missouri State’s Gavin Thurman (Fr., F, Wichita, Kan) is fourth (8.0 ppg).
- MSU has fired at a better FG% than 3 of its last 6 foes, and is 8-2 when out-shooting its opponents from the field.
- In 6 career games against SIU, Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) is 9-for-16 (.563) from 3-point range.
- Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) has scored a career-high 19 points in back-to-back games.
- As of Monday, the Bears rank 7th nationally in turnovers per game (10.4), tops in the MVC and up three spots from last week. Over the last three years, only six teams in Division I have fewer turnovers per game than Missouri State.
Setting the Stage
The Bears are looking for their second away win of the season when they take to the road Saturday (7:05 p.m.) for a key Missouri Valley Conference battle with rival Southern Illinois.
MSU is coming off its third straight home victory Tuesday with a 67-65 decision over Indiana State. Paul Lusk’s squad took the lead late in the first half and built a 14-point advantage by the 8:53 mark of the second half. The Sycamores made a late run to pull within one twice, but the home team made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) had a team-high 19 points to lead the Bears, including a perfect 7-for-7 effort at the foul line.
SIU has won two of its last three ball games, including a 65-56 home win over Evansville on Wednesday. The Salukis held the Purple Aces scoreless for more than eight minutes during a decisive stretch in the second half. When Jeff Early hit a 3-pointer with 11:11 remaining in the game, it capped a 15-0 run for SIU that built a 48-34 lead. Early had his seventh double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 boards.
Head Coach Paul Lusk
Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 24-34 (.414) in his second season at MSU and 26-57 (.313) in his third season overall as a head coach. He is 15-17 in the MVC games (9-7 at home, 6-10 on the road) and 9-16 in non-conference play (6-6 at JQH Arena, 3-6 away and 0-5 at neutral sites). He is also 15-13 in all home games, 9-16 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He is 3-0 vs. SIU (1-0 in Carbondale).
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 CollegeSportsMadness.com MVC Coach of the Year.
MSU has won seven in a row in a series that dates back to 1957 when the clubs first met at McDonald Arena. The Salukis still lead the all-time series, 38-33, but the Bears roll into SIU Arena with two straight victories there, despite an 8-21 all-time ledger in Carbondale.
The Bears are gunning for their third straight season sweep of SIU after MSU secured a 70-59 home win over the Salukis on Dec. 30 in the Valley opener for both clubs at JQH Arena.
In that game, the Bears shot 54.1 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line to break an eight-game losing streak and improve to 20-3 all-time in MVC openers. A 17-2 run by the Bears early in the second half made the difference as Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) tallied 16 points, and Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) scored 15 on a 5-for-5 effort from beyond the arc. SIU was led by Kendal Brown-Surles (Sr., G, Evansville, Ind.) with 12 points on 4-of-8 3-pointers.
SIU head coach Barry Hinson (Oklahoma State, 1983) is 215-155 in his 12th season overall and 10-15 in his first year at SIU. Hinson inherits four starters and eight lettermen from an 8-23 squad that was 5-13 (9th) in the MVC a year ago.
The last time the Bears met the Salukis, SIU was 7-4 through its non-conference slate. Since then, Hinson’s club is 3-11 overall, but has home wins over Indiana State, Wichita and Evansville in that span.
Wyoming transfer Desmar Jackson (Jr., G, Warren, Ohio) leads SIU with 15.9 points per game to go with 5.8 rebounds and a team-high 33 3-pointers. Jeff Early (Sr., G, Glasgow, Va.) scores 11.5 points and snags a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game, while Dantiel Daniels (So., F, Wentzville, Mo.) headlines the quartet of SIU returning starters and is currently averaging 8.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting an amazing 60.6 percent from the field.