Bears Will Host Pacific in CIT National Championship Game Tuesday
Missouri State (23-12) vs. Pacific (23-11)Tuesday, March 30, 2010, JQH Arena, 7:05 p.m.
The Game: The Missouri State Bears conclude their memorable 2009-10 campaign Tuesday in the national championship game of the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament at JQH Arena (7:05 p.m.). The Bears will play Pacific (23-11) from the Big West Conference which advanced to the finals with three straight road wins in the CIT, including a 64-56 victory at Appalachian State in the semifinals Thursday. The game will air live on FOX College Sports (FCS) nationally.
The game is being billed as Fan Appreciation Day and will feature a number of ticket, merchandise and apparel give-aways throughout the evening.
Tickets: Tickets are available by calling (417) 836-7678 or visiting the Missouri State Athletics Box Office at JQH Arena. Postseason Family Four Packs are $40 and include four bleacher seats. Special offers for Missouri State students, faculty and staff are also available. The ticket office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Television: Fox College Sports (FCS) is one of three nationally distributed college sports networks (FCS Pacific, FCS Central, and FCS Atlantic) delivering premium collegiate programming from across the country. The game between the Bears and Pacific can be found on DirecTV Channel 617. CLICK HERE or call 1-877-2GETFCS to see if your local cable provider carries the network. Dish Network does not carry FCS and the game will not be available on Fox Sports Midwest.
Elite Company: The Bears are one of just 12 Division I teams still playing. In addition to the NCAA Tournament Final Four -- Butler, Michigan State, Duke, and West Virginia -- Missouri State and Pacific join CBI finalists Saint Louis and VCU, along with NIT semifinalists Dayton, Ole Miss, North Carolina and Rhode Island as the remaining active squads.
Bears Notes and Notables:
The Bears are playing in their first national tournament championship game since 1974 when they lost 67-52 to Morgan State in the NCAA Division II finals.
Missouri State has extended its longest season ever to 36 games. Three previous teams -- 1986-87 (28-6), 1990-91 (22-12) and 1999-2000 (23-11) -- played 34 games. The Bears are also playing their latest game ever on the calendar, topping the previous record (March 24) done twice -- 1993 NIT and 2010 CIT.
Adam Leonard has 101 three-pointers in 2009-10, a Missouri State season record. Last Wednesday, he became the fifth MVC player to hit the century mark in a season and first since Jeremy Crouch of Bradley hit 118 in 2007-08. Leonard's personal season-high is 104 set during his freshman season at Eastern Kentucky in 2006-07. He also owns the MSU season record for three-point attempts with 256 and counting (the fourth-best total in MVC history).
The Bears have achieved 20 wins for the 14th time in their Division I era (1982-83 to present) and are seeking their 24th win of the season. Only one other team in MSU history, the 1986-87 Bears of Charlie Spoonhour (28-8) has more than 24 wins in a season. Three other squads have notched 24 victories -- 1968-69 (24-5), 1985-86 (24-8), and 1996-97 (24-9) .
The Bears have outrebounded or matched 28 of their 35 opponents this season, including 18 of their last 20 foes (nine in a row). MSU also has posted double-figure offensive rebounds in 16 of its last 20 contests.
Missouri State is shooting 85.7-percent from the free throw line (48-for-56) in the CIT and has recorded 14 blocked shots over the last three games.
Kyle Weems, who was scoreless for the first time in his career in the CIT semifinals, has made 12 straight free throws, dating back to March 15. He is 15-for-16 (.938) in the month of March.
Only one Division I teams -- Kansas (19-0) has won more home games than the Bears (18-2) this season. The Bears' 18 home wins is tied with Kentucky for second nationally. Just one previous MSU team has won 18 home games in a season -- the 1986-87 squad (18-1).
The 2009-10 Bears have broken school records for three-pointers (247) and three-point attempts (673).
At 23-12, the Bears are 11 games over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 12-1 after beating Illinois State on New Year's Day.
Of the Bears' 12 losses this season, nine have come by single-digits, including seven losses by 4 points or less, and two in OT. The team's two home losses are by a combined 4 points.
Adam Leonard and Kyle Weems now hold the MSU single-season record for three-pointers by teammates. The pair has combined for 172 treys, surpassing the previous record of 144 set by Blake Ahearn (94) and Tyler Chaney (50) in 2006-07.
With 12 more points, the Bears will surpass their season record for total points scored. The current record of 2,505 was set in 1996-97.
The Bears need 12 rebounds to reach their highest single-season total since securing 1,358 boards in the 1973-74 campaign.
MSU needs 2,268 fans to reach the 250,000 milestone in total attendance for the season (home and away games). It would mark just the fourth time in school history (first since 2006-07) the Bears have reached the quarter-million mark.
The Bears are surrendering just 65.3 points per game, marking the fourth straight season MSU has allowed less than 66.0 points and the 12th straight campaign allowing less than 70 points per contest.
MSU has scored 227 more field goals than it did last season (868-641). This year's total is the most since 1990-91 (869) and third-best in the Division I era.
Missouri State is one win shy of matching the JQH Arena record for consecutive wins. The team's seven-game home win streak is just shy of the eight-game streak compiled by the Bears from Nov. 16, 2009 to Jan. 6, 2010.
The Bears have an opportunity to end their season with a win for the first time since the 1978-79 season.
MILESTONES: Justin Fuehrmeyer (Sr., G, St. Charles, Mo.) needs 4 assists for 100 this season ... Ryan Jehle (Jr., F, Overland Park, Kan.) needs 8 rebounds for 150 career ... Will Creekmore (Jr., C, Tulsa, Okla.) needs three treys to match a personal season high (104) ... Adam Leonard (Jr., G, Lee's Summit, Mo.) needs 4 field goals for 400 career ... Jermaine Mallett (Jr., G, Jackson, Miss.) needs 1 rebound for 200 and 2 free throws for 100 this season ... Kyle Weems (So., F, Topeka, Kan.) needs 7 points for 800 career and 23 points for 500 this season ... Weems also needs 2 steals for 50 this season and 3 blocked shots for 60 in his career ... Caleb Patterson (So., C, Ames, Okla.) will play in his 50th career game tonight ... Patterson needs 1 blocked shot for 30 in his career.