The third-ranked Southwest Baptist Bearcats (10-0, 3-0 MIAA) enter the final day of 2008 in sole possession of first place in the MIAA men’s basketball race, and with two games this week will try to stay there as the calendar changes.

SBU will host Truman (5-6, 0-4 MIAA) Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 31), less than 48 hours after handing No. 10 Missouri Southern (12-1, 3-1 MIAA) a 105-65 loss at Meyer Sports Center.

It was the third time in four games the Bearcats surpassed 100 points and the fifth time this season.

The Bulldogs have lost their last six games a streak in which they’ve been held to less than 70 points five times. Truman has shot just 39.9 percent from the field and 64.2 from the foul line.

The Bearcats will then hit the road to face Emporia State (9-2, 3-1 MIAA) Saturday (Jan. 3). The Hornets, who will host Nebraska-Omaha (8-2, 2-1 MIAA) on New Year’s Eve, enter the week having won eight of their last nine games and are 6-0 this season at White Auditorium.

The Southern Lions will try to bounce back from the loss at SBU with a pair of home games — first the Missouri Western Griffons (6-4, 3-1 MIAA) on Wednesday and Pittsburg State (6-5, 1-3 MIAA) Saturday.

Before Christmas, MSSU captured the Puerto Rico Lexmark Holiday Classic championship.

The Griffons come to the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center riding a four-game winning streak, and they have five victories in the last six games after a 1-3 start. Western handed Washburn (7-4, 3-1 MIAA) its first league loss Monday night, 76-72.

Pitt State hosts Northwest Missouri State (5-6, 0-4 MIAA) before going down Highway 171 to Joplin.

The WU Ichabods return to Topeka to host Fort Hays State (8-2, 1-2 MIAA) on Wednesday and Central Missouri (9-2, 2-2 MIAA) Saturday.

Washburn has dropped its last two games since knocking off No. 6 Brigham Young-Hawaii Dec. 18.

The Tigers picked up their first conference win at Northwest Monday night in just their second road game of the season. It was the first time FHSU had downed the Bearcats since joining the MIAA. Fort Hays State hosts Truman Saturday afternoon.

The Mules of UCM made it four straight wins Monday night, but needed overtime to knock off Pitt State, 79-72.

After visiting ESU Wednesday night, UNO travels to Missouri Western. The Mavericks return to action for their first game since an 81-80 overtime loss to Southeastern Oklahoma State at the St. Mary’s (Texas) River City Classic Dec. 21.

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