The 4 th ranked SBU Bearcats defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State, 106-82, to move their record to 8-0 on the season. It was the 21st consecutive victory for SBU on their home floor in Bolivar. Nick Kovacevich scored a career-high 25 points, Matt Rogers scored 23, with 16 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Rogers a native of Doniphan, MO. is the reigning MIAA player of the week.
With many schools starting final examinations this week, the men’s basketball schedule is light. It does, however, feature a round of conference action on Saturday (Dec. 13).
The fourth-ranked Southwest Baptist Bearcats (7-0, 1-0 MIAA) will be shooting to match the start by 18th-ranked Missouri Southern (9-0, 2-0 MIAA) with a pair of games this week.
SBU heads over to Pittsburg State (5-3, 1-1 MIAA) for MIAA action Saturday. The Gorillas will host SBU on the heels of 79-77 non-conference home victory Monday (Dec. 8) over Newman (Kan.). PSU logged a last-second win over the Jets for the second time in as many seasons when Carlos Taylor scored with 1.9 seconds left. Taylor also hit the deciding bucket in the win at Newman in 2007-08.
Two other league schools have a non-conference tune-up before their MIAA game on the weekend. Nebraska-Omaha (5-1, 1-1 MIAA) hosts York (Neb.) Tuesday before Northwest Missouri State (3-3, 0-2 MIAA) becomes the first MIAA guest to Sapp Fieldhouse for the Mavericks.
Northwest head coach Steve Tappmeyer will be trying to get his 400th career victory for the third time with the trip to UNO.
Emporia State (6-1, 2-0 MIAA) will try to extend its five-game winning streak Wednesday (Dec. 10) when Central Christian (Kan.) visits White Auditorium. The Hornets face a road test at Central Missouri (5-2, 0-2 MIAA) Saturday.
Rounding out the weekend slate is Washburn (5-2, 2-0 MIAA) heading east to face Truman (5-2, 0-2 MIAA), while Fort Hays State (6-1, 0-1 MIAA) tries to bounce back from its first loss of the season when Missouri Western (2-4, 1-1 MIAA) visits Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Southern is idle until heading to the Puerto Rico Tournament Dec. 18-20. The Lions will go for their 10th straight win when they face the Gamecocks of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras in the opening round.
The start of the 2008-09 season saw the men’s game changed with the extension of the three-point line by one foot — it hasn’t seemed to effect the long bombers of the MIAA.
Through games of Dec. 8 last season, MIAA squads made 35.0 percent (440-of-1258) of their three-point tries from the old 19-foot-9 line. Through games of Dec. 8 this season, the league is making 39.0 percent (573-of-1469) from the 20-foot-9 distance.
Besides Northwest head coach Steve Tappmeyer approaching 400 wins, he also is five games away from coaching in his 600th collegiate game.
Two other MIAA coaches are nearing milestones. Missouri Southern’s Robert Corn needs one win to reach 300 for his career — all with the Lions. He’s three wins from passing Southwest Missouri State’s Andrew McDonald for sixth on the MIAA coaching victories list. Pittsburg State’s Gene Iba is three wins shy of win No. 250 while leading the Gorillas.
Central Missouri: Junior F Sanijay Watts had a career-high 30 points in the last-second loss to Southern last Saturday (Dec. 6)… UCM committed 22 turnovers vs. MSSU — four in the last 2:42 in losing a 14-point lead… Junior G Alex Moosman scored a team-high 14 points with five assists in the loss at Southwest Baptist Tuesday (Dec. 2).
Missouri Southern: Sophomore G Skyler Bowlin matched his season high with 22 points in the last-second win over UCM Saturday — He’s averaging 20.3 points and 4.7 assists in the last three games… Senior F Tony Webb’s 17-footer at the buzzer capped an 18-3 comeback against the Mules — seven of his 10 points came during the rally.
Missouri Western: The win over Pitt State snapped a six-game skid in conference games for the Griffons… Sophomore F Dominique Thuston scored the first eight points of the second half to give Western the lead on his way to a career-high 23 vs. PSU… Senior G Ken Goodwin scored a season-best 17 points in the loss to Emporia State.
Northwest Missouri State: Senior F Hunter Henry scored a season-best 25 in the loss at ESU — his highest scoring output since a 30-point night against Washburn in 2006-07… The 23-point loss to the Hornets was Northwest’s worst defeat since Nov. 2002… The Bearcats are 0-2 in MIAA play for the first time since 1996-97.
Southwest Baptist: Senior G Brandon Burgette matched a season high with 17 points in the win over Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) Saturday — he was 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-4 from long range… Senior C Matthew Rogers is averaging 30.0 points over his last four outings… Senior G D’Ante Harris distributed a season-high six assists vs. HLC.
Truman: Sophomore G Alex Henderson is averaging 14.3 points over his last four outings — he was 4-of-7 from three-point range and scored 16 points vs. MSSU… Senior G Banks Estridge led the Bulldogs with 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists at Pittsburg State… The 0-2 start to league play is Truman’s third in five seasons.
MIAA Men’s Basketball Athlete of the Week
Matthew Rogers, C
Southwest Baptist University
Rogers, a 6-foot-11, 205-pound junior from Doniphan, Mo., bettered his career single-game scoring high for the third consecutive game en route to averaging 28.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.5 blocked shots as the No. 5 Bearcats remained undefeated with two wins last week.
He opened the week by posting 35 points in SBU’s 98-70 victory over then-No. 22 Central Missouri to open MIAA play Tuesday night (Dec. 2). Rogers added eight rebounds and blocked seven shots against the Mules, and was 13-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range.
Rogers tallied 21 points in just 17 minutes of action with eight rebounds and four blocks in a 112-66 non-conference win over Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) Saturday (Dec. 6). He made five three-pointers in six tries, marking his fourth straight game making at least four treys.
Rogers, the MIAA’s leader in scoring (23.6 ppg) and three-point accuracy (60.0 percent), is a graduate of Doniphan High School.