Bears Open CIT Wednesday Against Murray State Postseason Tournament Postseason Tournament

March 17, 2014


Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Murray State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (20-12) vs. Murray State (18-11)

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. (Central)
Location: JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
Series: Missouri State leads 2-1 (1-0 in Springfield, 1-0 at JQH Arena)
TV: none
Radio: MSU Bears Radio Network, flagship KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner)
Live Stats: GameTracker (mobile friendly)
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Connect: @MissouriStBears @MSUBearsHoops #MSUBears 

Wichita State (NCAA)
18-0 34-0
Indiana State (NIT)
12-6 23-10
Northern Iowa
10-8 16-15
Missouri State (CIT)
9-9 20-12
Illinois State (CBI) 9-9 16-15
Southern Illinois 9-9 14-19
7-11 12-20
Drake 6-12 15-16
Evansville 6-12 14-19
Loyola Chicago 4-14 10-22


Monday, March 17
Holy Cross (19-13) at Brown (15-13), 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 18
VMI (19-12) at Canisius (20-12), 6:00 p.m.
Wright State (20-14) at East Carolina (17-16), 6:00 p.m.
Norfolk State (19-14) at Eastern Michigan (21-14), 6:00 p.m.
Chattanooga (18-14) at ETSU (18-15), 6:00 p.m.
Columbia (19-12) at Valparaiso (18-15), 6:05 p.m.
Alabama State (19-12) at Sam Houston State (23-10), 7:00 p.m.
Portland State (17-14) at San Diego (16-16), 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 19
Quinnipiac (20-11) at Yale (15-13), 6:00 p.m.
Towson (23-10) at USC Upstate (19-14), 6:00 p.m.
Cleveland State (21-11) at Ohio (23-11), 6:00 p.m.
Akron (21-12) at IPFW (24-10), 6:00 p.m.
Murray State (18-11) at Missouri State (20-12), 7:05 p.m.
North Dakota (17-16) at Nebraska-Omaha (16-14), 7:07 p.m.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi (17-15) at Northern Colorado (18-13), 8:00 p.m.
Pacific (15-15) at Grand Canyon (15-14), 8:00 p.m.


  • Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) has 71 3-pointers on the season, making him just the 4th freshmen in MVC history to score 70 more in a season. He has surpassed Blake Ahearn (61 in 2003-04) for the MSU freshman 3-point record.
  • Prior to Murray State’s remarkable 23-game winning streak to start the 2011-12 season, the last team to defeat the Racers was Missouri State when the clubs met at JQH Arena in the NIT first round game on March 15, 2011.
  • Missouri State has won 8 straight non-conference games at JQH Arena and is 14-2 overall at home this season.
  • 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. 
  • Scheer will be playing in his 132nd career game, which will tie him with Kevin Ault (1996-2000) for 2nd place on Missouri State’s career list. Kyle Weems, 2008-2012 (134) is the team’s all-time leader.
  • This is the third time in five years, the Bears have reached 20 wins and played in a postseason tournament.
  • Murray State’s Jarvis Williams (10.4 rpg) ranks 9th nationally in rebounds and 26th in double-doubles (13).
  • Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) sits in 46th place on MSU’s career scoring list with 793 points. He also ranks 12th among the Bears’ historical two-year players in scoring (64 games).
  • At No. 85 in this week’s RPI, the Bears represent the highest-rated Division I postseason team not playing in the NCAA or NIT. Fellow CIT participants Eastern Michigan (86), Ohio (87) and Cleveland State (91) are close behind.
  • This year’s CIT field includes 12 teams with 20 or more wins. The field also includes programs from 18 different conferences -- 3 each from Big Sky, Ivy League, MAC and Horizon League. MSU is the only Missouri Valley team.


   The Bears and Racers have met three times, including once at JQH Arena.
 The clubs met twice in the old NAIA national tournament in Kansas City -- first in 1943 with the Racers taking a 72-44 decision en route to finishing fourth, and later in 1952 in the title game won by the Bears, 73-64.  Forest Hamilton scored 23 points to lead all Missouri State players.
 In modern times, the clubs have met just once -- the opening round of the 2011 NIT. After the Bears and Racers were both snubbed by the NCAA after winning regular-season titles, they met at JQH Arena with the Bears prevailing 89-76. Jermaine Mallett tallied a game-high 23 points for the home side, which shot 65 percent in the second half.

COACH Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 47-50 (.490) in his third season at MSU and 49-73 (.405) 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), 2-3 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 3-8 at neutral sites. He has never coached against Murray State.  
 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 (855).


  The winner of the Missouri State-Murray State game will play in the CIT second round either Friday or Saturday against an opponent to be determined.


    Nine Missouri State foes have earned postseason berths, including four in the NCAA Tournament -- #1 seed Wichita State (0-3), #1 seed Virginia (0-1), #4 seed Louisville (0-1) and #13 seed Tulsa (1-0). MVC rival Indiana State (1-1) is in the NIT, while four foes are playing in the CBI: Illinois State (2-1), Texas A&M (1-0), Hampton (1-0) and Old Dominion (1-0). The Bears were 7-7 against all postseason teams.



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