Bears Set for Friday Quarterfinal Clash With Wichita State

March 8, 2013

 MSU Valley Tournament Notes (PDF)  |  MVC Tournament Bracket (PDF)

#7 Missouri State Bears (11-21, 7-11) vs. #2 Wichita State (24-7, 12-6)

The Last Meeting
Missouri State50
(22) Wichita State79
February 9, 2013
Wichita, Kan.
Bears Run Into Buzzsaw in Wichita, Fall 79-50 Against No. 22 Shockers
Marcus Marshall had a career-high 19 points for Missouri State, but the home standing Wichita State Shockers were too much as WSU closed out a 79-50 Missouri Valley Conference decision over the Bears here Saturday.

March 8, 2013, Scottrade Center (20,948), St. Louis, Mo., 6:05 p.m. (CT)



The Ten Count

  • The Bears have won 3 of their last 4 games and are now 2-0 in March. MSU is also 1-1 in Friday games this season.
  • MVC Freshman of the Year Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) needs just 3 points to catch Blake Ahearn (2003-04) for the club freshman scoring record (346 points). Marshall leads all MVC freshmen in scoring (11.1 ppg).
  • All-MVC Honorable Mention pick Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) is MSU’s leader in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes. He has registered 4 straight double-figure scoring games and tallied 42 for his career.
  • The Bears have forced 14.5 turnovers the last 4 games, their best four-game average since Dec. 1-15.
  • The Bears’ two-game winning streak is just their second such run this season. MSU won two in a row Jan. 5 (at Drake) and Jan. 8 (vs. Illinois State). The Bears last won 3 in a row Feb. 4-12, 2012.
  • Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.), an MVC All-Bench Team pick, will be playing in his 100th career game.
  • Christian Kirk (Jr., F, Springfield, Mo.) has scored in double figures in seven of the Bears’ last 11 games and is averaging 10.3 points in that span with 5 consecutive starts.  He has more than doubled his scoring total from last year.
  • Wichita State is the only MVC team that Bears’ head coach Paul Lusk has yet to defeat (0-4).
  • Missouri State is 4-2 against WSU at Arch Madness, but has lost the last two meetings. The Bears are also 2-7 against No. 2 seeds in St. Louis and 4-17 against higher-seeded clubs in the Valley Tournament.
  • Only Creighton (.667) and Illinois State (.578) have better winning percentages at Arch Madness than MSU (.563)

Head Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 27-37 (.422) in his second season at MSU and 29-60 (.326) in his third season overall as a head coach.  He is 16-20 in MVC games (10-7 at home, 6-13 on the road), 1-1 in MVC Tournament games and 11-17 in non-conference play (6-6 at JQH Arena, 4-6 away and 1-5 at neutral sites).  He is also 16-14 in all home games, 10-18 on the road, and 1-5 at neutral sites. He is 0-4 against Wichita State (0-2 at home, 0-2 away, 0-0 at neutral sites).
 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

  In a series that dates back to the 1941-42 season, Wichita State leads 31-30 with four straight victories in the rivalry.  The Shockers have swept the regular-season series the last two years, including a pair of double-figure wins over MSU this year. The Bears are 4-2 against WSU in the MVC Tournament.
 In the MVC Tournament, the Bears have won 4 of the 6 meetings, although the Shockers have won the last two contests in 2009 (first round) and 2010 (quarterfinals).
 On Jan. 23, Cleanthony Early scored 17 points and snagged 11 rebounds to lead #20 WSU to 62-52 win at JQH Arena in Springfield. The Bears erased a four-point halftime deficit by scoring the first 12 points of the second stanza. MSU freshman Gavin Thurman (F, Wichita, Kan.) registered 16 of his career-high 21 points in the run to push the Bears up by 8 with 16:17 to go.  
 In the rematch in Wichita on Feb. 9, the #22 Shockers shot 49.2 percent from the field and dominated the boards, 47-22, to secure a 79-50 win at Koch Arena. Early posted 16 points for the home club, while the Bears got 19 points from Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.).

Marshall is Valley Freshman of the Year

   Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) was named Tuesday (March 5) as the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year and member of the MVC All-Newcomer Team.  He becomes just the second Bears player, along with Blake Ahearn (2004), to earn the Valley’s top freshman honor.  
  He leads all Missouri Valley freshman players with 10.8 points per game and is just 21 points shy of Ahearn’s MSU freshman scoring record (346), set in 2003-04

Downing Earns All-MVC HM Distinction

   Anthony Downing (Sr., G, Atchison, Kan.) earned All-MVC honorable mention honors this week, his second postseason honor from the Valley in as many seasons.  An MVC All-Newcomer Team member and four-time MVC Newcomer of the Week last season, Downing upped his scoring average to a team-best 13.7 points per game this year, while leading the Bears in rebounds, steals, assists and minutes. He has scored in double-figures 21 times this season and led the Bears in scoring 17 games. 

Scheer Lands Spot On MVC All-Bench Team

   Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) was named to the MVC All-Bench Team on Wednesday (March 6).  Scheer ranked 7th among all Valley players in 3-point field goal percentage (.429) in league games, making 27-of-63 shots beyond the arc since Dec. 30. He also provided 24.3 minutes per game since the start of conference play while averaging 6.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per outing in the MVC. He scored in double figures four times this year and earned MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors once.

Television Clearances for Friday's Game

  • FOX Sports Midwest -- Live at 6 p.m. Central.
  • FOX Sports Indiana – Cannot clear the telecast on the main channel due to contractual obligations to Indiana Pacers, but the game will be cleared on FOX Sports Indiana Plus -- the channel used by FOX Sports Indiana when it simultaneously shows multiple events.  FOX Sports Indiana Plus can be found on Cinergy Metronet-Greencastle -- 3; Citizens -- 74; Comcast-Fort Wayne - 9 or 82; Comcast-Indianapolis -- 82; Comcast-Shelbyville -- 81 or 82; Mediacom -- 126; New Wave-Greencastle/Vincennes -- 194; Time Warner-Evansville -- 2, 505 or 12.10; Time Warner-Newburgh -- 23; Time Warner-Terre Haute -- 13; WOW-Evansville -- 103.
  • FOX Sports Kansas City -- Live at 6 p.m. Central.
  • FOX College Sports (Pacific) – Live at 6 p.m. Central.
  • Comcast SportsNet Chicago – Due to contractual obligations to the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, the game cannot be cleared on the main channel of Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Plus.
  • ESPN3 – Live at 6 p.m. Central outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
  • DirecTV -- Live at 6 p.m. Central on channel 671 (FOX Sports Midwest).
  • Dish Network -- Live at 6 p.m. Central on channel 418 (FOX Sports Midwest).
  • AT&T U-Verse -- Live at 6 p.m. Central on channel 748 (FOX Sports Midwest). 

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