Bears Begin Two-Game Road Swing Tuesday at Alabama A&M
 
Guard - Anthony Downing
 
Guard - Anthony Downing
 

Dec. 17, 2012

Missouri State Bears (2-8) at Alabama A&M (2-6)

Dec. 18, 2012, Elmore Gymnasium (6,000), Huntsville, Ala., 7 p.m.

2012-13 Missouri State GameDay Guide  |  MSU Tickets  |  Visitors Guide

The Ten Count

  • Marcus Marshall (Fr., G, St. Paul, Minn.) is 6 points away from racking up his first 100 points as a Bear. He is coming off a 14-point performance vs. Valpo, his fifth double-figure scoring output of his debut season.
  • Except for the ORU game on Dec. 1, the Bears are giving up just 59.8 points per game in regulation this season.
  • MSU has the 41st-best non-conference strength of schedule in all of Division I basketball and tops in the MVC.
  • The Bears are coming off a .440 shooting effort against Valparaiso, their best performance in six games.
  • The Bears lead the MVC and rank 22nd nationally in 3-point FG percentage defense (.271).
  • Keith Pickens (Jr., F, St. Louis, Mo.) needs to draw one more charge to give him 30 for his career and 3 total rebounds to give him 250 career caroms.
  • MSU had held six of its 10 foes this season under 30 percent from 3-point range. Missouri State has also kept four opponents under 20 percent from long range, including nationally-ranked San Diego State and Oklahoma State.
  • Missouri State’s 4-of-6 shooting effort from 3-point range against Valpo was its best 3-pt FG% in a game since 2/10/09.
  • Christian Kirk (So., F, Springifeld, Mo.) needs 1 FG to match his freshman season total (49) and 3 FG to reach 100.
  • Nathan Scheer (Jr., G/F, Washington, Mo.) and Kirk are the only two Bears to score in every game this season..

Head Coach Paul Lusk

Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 18-24 (.429) in his second season at MSU and 20-47 (.299) in his third season overall as a head coach.  He is 9-14 in non-conference play (6-6 at JQH Arena, 3-4 away and 0-5 at neutral sites). Overall, he is 10-11 in home games, 8-8 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He has never coached against Alabama A&M.
 The 41-year-old Lusk took the reigns 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 CollegeSportsMadness.com MVC Coach of the Year.

The Series

  This is the first-ever meeting between Missouri State and Alabama A&M in men’s basketball.
 The Bears’ last game against a SWAC opponent was Nov. 30, 2006 when they defeated Alabama State at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, 89-49.

The Opponent

   Coach Willie Hayes (Alabama A&M, 1980) returns four starters and eight lettermen from a 7-21 squad that was 5-13 (5th) in the SWAC last season.
 The Bulldogs enter the game with a 2-6 ledger and have dropped four straight games since a 103-77 home win over Oakwood on Nov. 20.  AAMU is 2-1 at home this season and has three players averaging double figures.  Junior Demarquelle Tabb (6-5, Greensboro, Ala.) avearges 11.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game with nearly 2 blocks and 2 steals per night.  He is supported by Brandon Ellis (6-3, Jr., G, Loxley, Ala.) who scores 10.8 points per game, while Jeremy Crutcher (5-8, Jr., G, Hazel Green, Ala.) scores 10.3 per game with 39 assists.

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