Bears Host Missouri Western Tuesday Night in Exhibition Opener
Oct. 30, 2012
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State University officially begins the 2012-13 men's basketball campaign tonight when the Bears square off with Missouri Western State University in a 7:05 p.m. exhibition game at JQH Arena.
Coach Paul Lusk's Bears have five lettermen and six squad members back from last year's team that finished 16-16 overall and tied for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Guard Anthony Downing (11.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.3 apg) earned MVC All-Newcomer Team distinction last winter and is the only active senior on the squad. A solid returning nucleus of juniors Keith Pickens (11 starts) and Nathan Scheer (14 starts), along with sophomore Christian Kirk (14 starts), will be counted on for larger contributions. Meanwhile, a cast of six freshmen look to play a pivotal role in the team's success.
Tickets for tonight's game, and all MSU home games, are available at MissouriStateTix.com. Tickets are also available at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena or by calling (417) 836-7678 during regular box office hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekdays.
Missouri Western and Coach Tom Smith return seven lettermen and two starters from a 9-17 effort last season. James Harris (Sr., G) averaged 11.6 points and knocked down 41 three-pointers last season for MWSU with 21 starts.
The Griffons play in the MIAA Conference, of which the Bears were a charter member until they moved to Division I status in 1982. However, the two clubs have never met in men's basketball -- either regular season or preseason.
The Bears will also host McKendree University this Saturday at 7:05 p.m., in their final preseason warm-up before the season opener at JQH Arena on Nov. 9 against Philander Smith, also at 7:05 p.m.