Bears Close Out Regular Season at No. 2 Wichita State
So., F, Gavin Thurman
So., F, Gavin Thurman

Feb. 27, 2014

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Wichita State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (19-10, 9-8) at #2 Wichita State (30-0, 17-0)

Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Tipoff: 1:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: Koch Arena (10,506), Wichita, Kan.
Series: WSU leads 33-30 (21-6 in Wichita)
TV: ESPN (Rich Hollenberg, Mark Adams, Sean Farnham, Holly Rowe) |  WatchESPN
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Live Video: WatchESPN
Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 30 Tickets

Wichita State 17-0 30-0
Indiana State 12-5 21-8
Missouri State 9-8 19-10
Illinois State 9-8 16-13
Northern Iowa
9-8 15-14
Southern Illinois 8-9 12-18
Bradley 7-10 12-18
Drake 5-12 14-15
Evansville 5-12 12-18
Loyola 4-13 9-20

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears

The Last Meeting
(6) Wichita State72  
Missouri State69(OT)
January 11, 2014
Springfield, Mo.
Bears Drop OT Nail-Biter to No. 6 Wichita
Missouri State (12-4, 2-2 MVC) fought unbeaten Wichita State tooth and nail for 45 minutes before the visiting Shockers emerged with a 72-69 overtime win before the third-largest crowd ever at JQH Arena here Saturday night.


  • This is Missouri State’s 1,000th game as a Division I program. Since joining the DI ranks for the 1982-83 season, the Bears are 612-387 (.613) in 32 seasons with 16 postseason appearances (6 NCAA, 9 NIT, 1 CIT).
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) has posted 15 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 207 treys on the season, this year’s squad is the sixth Bears team to hit 200 bonus baskets in a season, but the first since 2010-11. The club record is 252 set in 2009-10.
  • Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) has 65 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 6 opponents from the free throw line, firing at a .763 clip at the line in that span (100-for-131).
  • At No. 2 in the AP poll, Wichita State is the highest-ranked team the Bears have ever played in the regular season. MSU met top-ranked Duke in the 1999 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in East Rutherford, N.J.
  • Three of MSU’s four seniors have already graduated, while the fourth -- two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete Team selection Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) -- is completing his degree this semester.
  • Missouri State is approaching its 20th win of the year, a milestone the program has achieved 28 times in 101 seasons and twice in the last four years. The last MSU team to hit 20 was the MVC championship squad in 2010-11 (26-9).
  • Keith Pickens (Sr., G/F, St. Louis, Mo.) is 9-for-14 (.643) from the field over the last 2 games with 12.0 ppg & 6.0 rpg.
  • Wichita native Gavin Thurman (So., F) is averaging 10.0 ppg in 4 previous appearances against his hometown club.


    The series between the Bears and Shockers dates back to the 1941-42 season with Wichita winning the last six in the rivalry to take a 33-30 overall lead. WSU is 21-6 at home against MSU.
 WSU won all three meetings between the clubs last season, including a 79-50 verdict in Wichita (2/9/13) with Marcus Marshall scoring 19 to lead the Bears at Koch Arena.
 On Jan 11 at JQH Arena in Springfield, the No. 6 Shockers rallied from a 19-point deficit to escape with a 72-69 overtime win. Cleanthony Early scored 22, and Fred Van Vleet added 16 for WSU, while MSU got 17 points from Austin Ruder and 15 each from Jarmar Gulley and Marshall who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the game.

COACH Paul Lusk

   Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 46-48 (.489) in his third season at MSU and 48-71 (.403) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 25-28 in MVC games (17-10 at home, 8-18 on the road), 1-2 in MVC Tournament games and 21-18 against all non-conference foes (13-6 at JQH Arena, 6-7 away and 1-5 at neutral sites).  He is also 30-16 in all home games, 14-25 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 0-6 against Wichita State (0-2 at Koch Arena) and 1-10 vs. ranked opponents.  WSU is the only MVC team that Lusk has not defeated in his three-year MSU tenure.
 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 season scoring total for a freshman class in MSU history (855).


     Missouri State will open the 2014 MVC Tournament on Friday, March 7 against an opponent to be determined. Visit for complete tournament information, tickets and brackets.

LAST GAME (Feb. 25)

   Missouri State started all four of its seniors who combined for 30 points in a 72-56 conference win over visiting Loyola Chicago here Tuesday. The Bears (19-10, 9-8 MVC) got a double-double from Jarmar Gulley – his sixth of the league season – and 14 points from fellow senior Keith Pickens to avenge an earlier loss to the Ramblers.
   Gulley scored 10 points and snagged 10 rebounds to go with 5 assists, while junior Christian Kirk tallied a game-high 16 points to help MSU’s winning efforts.
   League newcomer Loyola (9-20, 4-13) was led by Tony Nixon who went 5-for-9 from bonus distance to score 15 points, while Joe Crisman added 14.
   For the second game in a row MSU never trailed, and the Bears held off a late rush by the Ramblers as Nixon dropped in a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes to draw the visitors within 10. But the Bears closed out the game on a 6-0 run to match their largest lead of the night as time expired.
   Loyola opened the second half on a 9-2 run in the first five minutes to make it a 43-36 game, but a tip-in by Gulley and layup by Kirk got the advantage back to double figures for MSU with 12:33 to go.  Before the 10-minute mark, Kirk added dunks on back-to-back possessions to get the lead to 13.
   Porter Moser’s squad kept battling and reeled of six of the game’s next seven points to make it 52-44 with just over 8 minutes left. But as it did all night, Missouri State responded to every LU challenge, this time with a put-back by Gulley, Kirk’s third dunk of the night and a pair of free throws by Gulley to get it to 58-44 at the 6:43 mark.  
   Loyola would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way, and Missouri State improved to 14-2 at JQH Arena this season and 29-3 on Senior Days since moving to Division I in 1982-83.
   Kirk finished 7-for-8 from the field with his second-highest scoring total of the season, while Pickens scored on 5 of his 7 shots.  For the game, Missouri State shot an even 28-for-56 from the field, 6-of-15 (.400) from bonus distance and 10-of-15 (.667) at the line, while out-rebounding the Ramblers, 33-27. MSU committed just 8 turnovers on the night and blocked 5 shots.
   Loyola was 9-for-18 from 3-point range and 21-for-44 (.477) overall from the field, but converted just 5-of-14 (.357) at the stripe.  The Ramblers committed 13 turnovers and got a team-high 8 rebounds from Christian Thomas.  MVC Freshman of the Year candidate Milton Doyle was just 1-for-8 from the field and had 5 points.
   In the opening half, Paul Lusk’s Bears fired at a 57-percent clip from the field to take a 41-27 lead into the break.
   A 7-2 run by Loyola 7 minutes into the game tied the contest at 16. However, the Bears responded with an 11-2 outburst, paced by 5 points from Kirk, to lead 27-18 with just over 6 minutes left in the period. MSU tallied a pair of 3-pointers just before the end of the stanza, including a 30-footer from Austin Ruder at the horn.



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