Bears Set to Open Arch Madness Friday Against Redbirds
All-MVC Forward Jarmar Gulley
All-MVC Forward Jarmar Gulley

March 5, 2014

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#4 Missouri State Bears (19-11, 9-9) at #5 Illlinois State (16-14, 9-9)

Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
Tipoff: 2:35 p.m. (Central)
Location: Scottrade Center (20,948), St. Louis, Mo.
Series: ISU leads 36-27 (4-1 in St. Louis)
TV: FOX Sports Midwest (John Rooney, Mark Adams, Scott Warmann, Tom Ackerman) (see clearances below)  |  ESPN3
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats:
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Listen Live:
Tickets: Game 31 Tickets or 1-800-745-3000

Wichita State 18-0 31-0
Indiana State 12-6 21-9
Northern Iowa
10-8 16-14
Missouri State 9-9 19-11
Illinois State
9-9 16-14
Southern Illinois 9-9 13-18
Bradley 7-11 12-19
Drake 6-12 15-15
Evansville 6-12 13-18
Loyola 4-14 9-21

Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears

The Last Meeting
Missouri State63
Illinois State67
February 18, 2014
Normal, Ill.
Bears Comeback at ISU Falls Short, 67-63
Jarmar Gulley scored 24 points, and Austin Ruder added 12 for Missouri State, but the Bears (17-10, 7-8 MVC) could not overcome a season-high 21 turnovers in a 67-63 loss to Illinois State here Tuesday.


  • This is the 4th time MSU has been the No. 4 seed at Arch Madness. MSU is 3-0 in the quarterfinals as the 4 seed.
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) has posted 16 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.
  • Nathan Scheer (Sr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) and Keith Pickens (Sr., G/F, St. Louis, Mo.) have 130 and 128 career minutes, respectively, in the MVC Tournament, which ranks just behind active leader Jake Odum of Indiana St. (206).
  • Gulley is tied for second in the league in double-doubles on the season with 6. Only Evansville's Egidiju Mockevicius has more (8), while UNI's Seth Tuttle and Bradley's Tyshon PIckett also have 6. WSU's Cleanthony Early has just 4.
  • MSU is one of the nation's most-improved teams, from 11-22 (#199 RPI) last year to 19-11 (#97 RPI) this season.
  • With 211 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.
  • 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).
  • MSU is 27-22 (.551) in 23 MVC Tournaments (14-8 in quarterfinals). Only Illinois St. (.576) has a better winning pct.


    The Bears and Redbirds will meet for the 64th time when they tip it up at Scottrade Center on March 7, and ISU holds a 36-27 series lead. The series dates back to 1967 when the clubs met in the NCAA Division II semifinals. The clubs have met 52 times as Valley foes and 5 times (1-4) in the MVC Tournament.
 The teams have split the last 10 meetings and have not played in St. Louis since 2008 (a 63-58 ISU win in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals).
 The clubs have split meetings this season.  First in Springfield (Jan. 2), Jarmar Gulley scored 4 of his game-high 22 points in overtime, and the Bears overcame a 16-point deficit to score a 78-70 win. MSU also got 14 points from Marcus Marshall and 13 from Christian Kirk in the win, while ISU was led by Daishon Knight's 15 points and 3 3-pointers.
 Most recently, the Gulley scored 24 points, and Austin Ruder added 12, but the Bears could not overcome a season-high 21 turnovers in a 67-63 loss in Normal on Feb. 18.  All five ISU starters scored in double figures, including 17 by Knight. The Bears overcame a 13-point first-half deficit to take a 58-56 lead with 4:52 remaining, but a subsequent 9-0 run by the Redbirds sank the rallying visitors.

COACH Paul Lusk

   Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 46-49 (.484) in his third season at MSU and 48-72 (.400) in his fourth season overall as a head coach.  He is 25-29 in MVC games (17-10 at home, 8-19 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, 14-26 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 2-4 against Illinois State (0-0 at neutral sites).
 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).


     With 17 double-figure scoring efforts in 18 Valley games, Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) was named to the All-MVC second team on March 4.  Gulley ranks in the top 10 in The Valley in scoring (14.9), rebounding (6.4) and steals (1.63) and accumulated 16.3 points and 7.1 boards in league games.
 Bears' sharp shooter Austin Ruder (Fr., G, Nixa, Mo.) was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team, the league announced on March 4.  Ruder tallied 65 3-pointers in the regular season, making him just the 8th freshman in league history to score 60 or more shots from beyond the arc. His 8.6 scoring average ranks third among all league freshmen, while his 3-point total is also a Missouri State freshman record.s.


FOX Sports Midwest -- Live at 2:30 p.m. Central.
FOX Sports Indiana -- Live at 2:30 p.m. Central.
FOX Sports Kansas City -- Live at 2:30 p.m. Central.
FOX College Sports (Pacific) - Live at 2:30 p.m. Central.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago -- Live at 2:30 p.m. Central.
ESPN3 - Live at 2:30 p.m. Central outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
DirecTV - Live at 2:30 p.m. Central on channel 671 (FOX Sports Midwest).
Dish Network - Live at 2:30 p.m. Central on channel 418 (FOX Sports Midwest).
AT&T U-Verse - Live at 2:30 p.m. Central on channels 748 and 1748 (FOX Sports Midwest).



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