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.
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.
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.