From the MIAA
Junior F Hunter Henry scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half to help second-seeded Northwest Missouri State cruise past No. 7 seed Pittsburg State, 71-42, in the first round of the MIAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament Friday night (March 7) at Municipal Auditorium.
The Bearcats (21-7) will face the survivor of the night’s final game, Central Missouri or Washburn, in the 8:15 p.m. semifinal Saturday (March 8).
Northwest held the Gorillas to a tournament-low 42 points, breaking the previous mark of 45 points set when Missouri Western defeated Southwest Baptist in the 1998 tourney’s first round.
The Bearcats never trailed in the game, building a 17-9 lead at the 12:46 mark of the opening half. The lead reach double figures by the 4:18 mark and was up to15 at the halftime break, 34-19.
Pitt State shot just 7-of-29 (29.2 percent) in the first half, and finished the game 14-of-51 (27.5 percent). The Gorillas did make 6-of-18 (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc, most of that damage done by sophomore G/F Spencer Magana — he was 4-of-10 and led PSU wth 14 points.
Henry was 7-of-11 in the first half from the field, 1-of-3 from the arc and 2-of-2 at the foul line as last season’s MIAA Most Valuable Player out-dueled the 2007-08 winner in PSU senior C Cory Abercrombie.
Northwest’s lead reached 20 points for the first time with 14:34 to go in the game, an would not dip below that level in the final 10:29.
Henry added 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to his statistical line for the game. Sophomore G Lance Sullivan scored 18 points, finishing 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Abercrombie was limited to seven points and five rebounds — well below his season averages entering the game of 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds.