Bears' Senior Night is Tuesday in Key Rematch vs. Loyola
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens
Sr., G/F, Keith Pickens

Feb. 24, 2014

TICKETS  SENIOR NIGHT (ceremonies start at 6:46 p.m.)

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Loyola Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (18-10, 8-8 MVC) vs. Loyola (9-19, 4-12 MVC)

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: Loyola leads 2-0 (0-0 in Springfield, 0-0 at JQH Arena)
TV: none
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: GameTracker (mobile friendly)
Live Video:  Bears All-Access
Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 29 Tickets  |  Half-price upper-level tickets  |  MSU Students Free with BearPass ID 

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears 

Wichita State 16-0 29-0
Indiana State 12-4 21-7
Missouri State
8-8 18-10
Illinois State 8-8 15-13
Northern Iowa 8-8 14-14
Southern Illinois 8-8 12-17
7-9 12-17
Drake 5-11 14-14
Evansville 4-12 11-18
Loyola Chicago 4-12 9-19


  • During the Division I era, the Bears are 28-3 on Senior Day/Night, including a 4-1 mark at JQH Arena.
  • The Bears are 13-2 at home this season and 73-27 (.730) in their sixth season at JQH Arena. MSU has won 14 home games just 11 times in the Division I era (1982-present) -- last in 2010-11 (16-1).
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) has posted 14 straight double-figure scoring games, the longest run of his career and most by a Bear since Kyle Weems had 28 in a row in 2011-12.
  • With 201 treys on the season, this year’s squad is the sixth Bears team to hit 200 in a season -- first since 2010-11.
  • Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) has 99 career 3-pointers and is trying to become the 11th player in MSU history to reach 100. His 127 games played ranks him 6th on MSU’s career list and 3rd among active MVC players.
  • Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) has 64 3-pointers on the season, making him just the 8th freshmen in MVC history to score 60 more in a season. He has surpassed Blake Ahearn (61 in 2003-04) for the MSU freshman 3-point record.
  • MSU has outshot its last five opponents from the free throw line, firing at a .776 clip at the line in that span (90-for-116).
  • The Bears rank second in the Valley in 3-point FG percentage (.367), behind perennial league leader Drake (.395). Last season, MSU finished last in the league -- and 286th nationally -- with a .297 percentage from long range.
  • Missouri State is on the verge of its 19th win of the season, a milestone the program has achieved 33 times in 101 seasons. MSU has reached 20 wins 28 times, most recently in 2010-11 (26-9).
  • With two games to play in the league slate, the Bears are in a four-way tie for third place in the MVC. Paul Lusk’s Bears, who were tabbed 4th in the preseason, have finished higher than predicted in both of his previous seasons.


  This game is just the third meeting ever between the Bears and Ramblers and first-ever meeting in Springfield.
 On Jan. 5 in Chicago, the Ramblers blitzed MSU, 89-57, in their first-ever home game in The Valley. Devon Turk posted a game-high 30 points on 13-for-13 at the line and 5-for-8 from 3-point range to lead five LUC players in double figures. Marcus Marshall (11) and Devon Thomas (10) were the only MSU players in double figures in a game the Bears gave up 31 field goals.
 The only other meeting between the schools came in the 1964-65 season opener with 32-year-old Bears coach Bill Thomas’ debut as the MSU sideline boss.  Sophomore Danny Bolden scored 20 points for the Bears, and James Gant tallied 21 points behind 10 field goals to lead four MSU players in double figures in an 87-83 loss.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 45-48 (.484) in his third season at MSU and 47-71 (.398) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 24-27 in MVC games (16-10 at home, 8-17 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 29-16 in all home games, 14-24 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 0-1 against Loyola (0-0 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).


  The Bears will conclude the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m. at No. 2-ranked Wichita State in a nationally-televised game on ESPN or ESPN2. The 2014 MVC Tournament takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, March 6-9.

LAST GAME (Feb. 22)

    Missouri State made 20-of-22 free throws in the second half and led wire-to-wire here Saturday afternoon in a 77-66 win over visiting Indiana State to help the Bears pull even at 8-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference race.
 The Bears were led by Austin Ruder who scored a game-high 15 points behind three clutch 3-pointers, while Jarmar Gulley added 14 points to go with game-highs 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists.  It was Gulley’s 14th straight double-figure scoring game.
 The Sycamores, who had already locked up a runner-up finish in the conference standings, were held to just 36 percent shooting in the game and made just 5 first-half field goals to fall behind by as many as 15 in the early going.  Missouri State led by 11 at the intermission before ISU opened the second half on a 6-2 run to cut it to 39-32 before the first media break.
 Keith Pickens, who contributed 10 points and 8 rebounds in his first start of the season for MSU, kept the home club together as his layup at the 16:14 mark ended the mini-run by the Sycamores to make it 41-32.  Three minutes later, a pair of free throws by Christian Kirk pushed the Bears ahead 47-36.
 But over the next six minutes, the visitors would make a valiant run, outscoring the Bears 14-4 to make it a 51-50 contest with just over 7 minutes remaining.  A 3-pointer from the corner by Khristian Smith capped the run on the heels of a Gulley jumper that accounted for MSU’s first field goal in nearly 7 minutes.
 Ron Mvouika, who scored a dozen off the bench for Paul Lusk’s squad, came up big with a layup in traffic to build MSU’s lead back to 53-50 before Ruder dropped in a clutch trey in transition with just over 6 minutes left in the game.  A runner by Manny Arop quickly got ISU within 56-52, but Ruder brought the dagger at the 4:46 mark, knocking down his final bonus ball of the afternoon to increase Missouri State’s advantage to seven.
 From there, it was clutch free throw shooting that sealed the win and helped Lusk’s troops improve to 13-2 at home this season. The Bears went 16-for-18 at the line in the final 3 minutes, 19 seconds, and climbed ahead by double figures for the final time with just over a minute-and-a-half remaining on a pair of foul shots by Ruder. Six different Bears enjoyed a perfect night at the charity stripe as the team finished 28-for-32 (.875) for the game – their third-best game of the season from the line.



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