CIT Heats Up as Bears Host MVC Rival Creighton in Semifinals Wednesday
The Missouri State Bears (22-12) head into the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament semifinals Wednesday when they host Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton (18-15) at 7:05 p.m.
The winner will advance to -- and likely host -- the CIT championship finals on Tuesday, March 30 against either Appalachian State (24-10) or Pacific (22-11). Appalachian State hosts Pacific in the other semifinal Wednesday.
The Bears and Bluejays split their two regular-season games with MSU winning the most-recent outing, 70-52 on Feb. 6 at JQH Arena.
Family Four Packs: For all remaining postseason Bears and Lady Bears games, Missouri State is offering four bleacher tickets for $40 as part of its Postseason Family Four Pack. Tickets are available by calling (417) 836-7678 or in person at the Chevy Pick-up Window at the MSU Athletics Box Office in JQH Arena.
Missouri State Notes & Notables:
This will be the Bears' 35th game this season, a Missouri State record. The previous high of 34 games was done three times: 1986-87 (28-6), 1990-91 (22-12) and 1999-2000 (23-11).
Adam Leonard has 98 three-pointers in 2009-10 which is now the Missouri State season record. His personal season-high is 104 set during his freshman season at Eastern Kentucky in 2006-07. On Monday, Leonard also broke the MSU mark for three-point attempts, now with 247.
MSU players slated to break the MSU record tonight for games played (35) are: Kyle Weems, Adam Leonard, Jermaine Mallett, Will Creekmore, Nafis Ricks and Caleb Patterson.
Missouri State has reached 20 wins for the first time since 2006-07 (22-11) and the 14th time since moving to Division I in 1982-83. The last MSU squad to claim 23 wins was the 1999-2000 team.
The Bears have outrebounded or matched 27 of their 34 opponents this season, including 17 of their last 19 foes (eight in a row). MSU also has posted double-figure offensive rebounds in 16 of its last 19 contests.
Tonight's game will mark the second time the Bears have faced a fellow MVC squad in the postseason. The Bears also dropped a 72-69 decision to Southern Illinois in the second round of the 1991 NIT at Hammons Student Center.
Kyle Weems, has made 12 straight free throws, dating back to March 15 and is 15-for-16 (.938) in the month of March.
Only two Division I teams -- Kansas (19-0) and Kentucky (18-0) have won more home games than the Bears (17-2) this season. The Bears' 17 home wins is tied with 11 other schools, only one of which is still playing home-court games. Just one previous MSU team has a higher home win total -- the 1986-87 squad (18-1).
Missouri State has hit at least one three-pointer in 250 consecutive games (since 12/14/02) and has made at least 4 treys in 17 straight.
MSU needs just four three pointers to match the season record of 243, set by the 2006-07 squad. The 2009-10 Bears are the fifth team in MSU history to hit 200 treys in a season.
At 22-12, the Bears are 10 games over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 13-3 after a home win over Bradley on Jan. 9.
Of the Bears' 12 regular-season losses, nine have come by single-digits, including seven losses by 4 points or less, and two overtime losses.
Adam Leonard and Kyle Weems now hold the MSU single-season record for three-pointers by teammates. The pair has combined for 169 treys, surpassing the previous record of 144 set by Blake Ahearn (94) and Tyler Chaney (50) in 2006-07.
MSU's 60.4-percent shooting effort against Middle Tennesse last Wednesday was the squad's best since firing at a 63.5-percent clip against Evansville on Jan. 9, 2007.
The Bears need 46 rebounds to reach their highest single-season team mark since securing 1,358 boards in the 1973-74 campaign. The current season high during that span is 1,229 in 1996-97.
MILESTONES: Justin Fuehrmeyer (Sr., G, St. Charles, Mo.) needs 4 points for 500 ... Fuehrmeyer also needs 5 assists for 100 this season ... Will Creekmore (Jr., C, Tulsa, Okla.) needs 26 points for 500 career ... Adam Leonard (Jr., G, Lee's Summit, Mo.) is 2 three-pointers shy of 100 for th eseason and six shy of matching a personal season high ... Jermaine Mallett (Jr., G, Jackson, Miss.) needs 3 rebounds for 200 this season ... Nafis Ricks (Jr., G, Philadelphia, Pa.) needs 3 rebounds for 100 season ... Kyle Weems (So., F, Topeka, Kan.) needs 2 assists for 100 and 7 points for 800 career ... Weems also needs 23 points for 500 season.