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Men's basketball plays host to big mid-week matchup with Northwe - KOAM TV 7

Men's basketball plays host to big mid-week matchup with Northwest Missouri

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___MissouriSouthernLionsLOGO ___MissouriSouthernLionsLOGO
Press Release MSSU:

The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will play host to Northwest Missouri in a mid-week battle between the two MIAA schools tomorrow evening. Tip off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 7:30 pm. 


Game Information

Teams: Missouri Southern (11-6, 5-3 MIAA) vs. Northwest Missouri (13-4, 6-3 MIAA) 

Date: Thursday, Jan 21, 2015
Tip-Off: 7:30 pm
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Robert Corn Court/Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: Northwest leads series 27-20
Coaches: Jeff Boschee (11-6 overall/at MSSU). Ben McCollum (89-57 at NWMO/overall)


Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 KBTN - Mike McClure - Play-by-play
Internet Audiowww.mssulions.com
Webcastwww.mssulions.com
Live Stats: www.mssulions.com
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssumensbball


A look at the coaches: Jeff Boschee, MSSU - Jeff Boschee is in his first season as the head coach of the Missouri Southern basketball program after serving four seasons as an assistant and associate head coach. He was named the head coach of the Lions on July 1, 2014.  Since Boschee arrived at Southern, the Lions have gone 97-40, made four consecutive MIAA tournaments and had trips to three of the last four NCAA Division II postseason tournaments, while claiming the 2010-11 MIAA regular season championship, and the 2013-14 post-season tournament championship. The 2010-11 team set the MIAA record for conference wins in a season with 19. Under Boschee's leadership, former Lion Skyler Bowlin was the MIAA's Player and Defender of the Year in 2011. He was a first-team All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American selection, being named to three different All-America teams. He was also the Region Player of the Year and a finalist for the National Player of the Year. Bowlin signed a professional contract to play basketball in the German Pro League after completing his eligibility and has since moved on to playing in Denmark.

No stranger to Northwest Missouri State or hard work, Ben McCollum has helped return that mentality back into Bearcat men's basketball. McCollum was tabbed the 20th head coach in Northwest men's basketball history prior to the start of the 2009-10 season. The 2013-14 Bearcats reached the NCAA Sweet 16, going 24-9 overall. The regular-season MIAA co-champions went 16-3 in conference play to earn McCollum his second MIAA title. It was also the team's third consecutive 20-plus win season, a feat that had not been accomplished since the 2007-08 season, prior to McCollum's arrival. DeShaun Cooper was named the MIAA Player of the Year and was an All-America honoree by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

The Series - Northwest leads the overall series 27-20, but Southern has won seven of the last nine games. Missouri Southern is 14-7 at home against Northwest Missouri, while the Lions are 5-16 in Maryville. Northwest has won all but one of the neutral site games. While many of the games have been close, Northwest's biggest victory margin was 27 points, in the 2006 MIAA Tournament.  Southern's most-lopsided win was a 93-67 decision on January 29, 2000. Four out of the last five games have been decided by a basket or less.

Defending Champs - The Lions won the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament in Kansas City last year, defeating Nebraska-Kearney in the opener. The Lions beat Northwest Missouri in game two and won against Central Oklahoma in the Tournament Championship.    

Regional Appearance - The Lions made the program's fifth-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament last season when the team went to Mankato, Minn. and lost to eventual National Champion Central Missouri in the round of 32. The Lions have been to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons.    

Record Breakers - Junior shooting guard Austin Wright set two records for the Lions last year, breaking the single-season three point percentage mark (.493) and he also is the current career-leader in that category (.459). 

Record Breakers II - Wright is climbing the charts in career three pointers made at MSSU. He moved into the top five last week and currently sits in fourth at 145 career treys. He needs 80 to break Skyler Bowlin's record of 224.   

Record Breakers III - Wright broke the MSSU single-game three point record against Northeastern State when the junior hit nine as part of 28 points in the Lions' 90-54 win. 

Three Point Streak - The Lions failed to make a three-pointer at Arkansas Tech in their match-up in 2012-13. It was the first time in 403 games that Southern had failed to hit a three pointer, dating back to Jan. 20, 1999 against Missouri S&T. The Lions have had a three in 70-straight games since Arkansas Tech in 2012-13. 

Stingy Defense -  The Lions have held their opponents to 71 points or under in eight of their last 12 games. Against Benedictine, Southern held the Ravens to 48 points, nearly 20 points below the season average for the No. 4 ranked team in the NAIA. The total is the lowest opponent output since the Lions held Central Bible to 39 points in 2012.   

Double-Double This - Taevaunn Prince has five double-double's this season. Against Emporia State, both Prince and Lane Barlow had a double-double each. 

Big Game Tae - In the last eight games, Taevaunn Prince is averaging 17.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, while shooting 48% from the field and 81% from the free-throw line.

Heatin Up - Over the last eight games, the Lions have gone 6-2. In that time, they're out scoring their opponents by a margin of 13.6, while shooting 46 percent from the field, 38 percent from long range and 77 percent from the free throw line. They are also out rebounding their opponents by a margin of 5.8 and making eight 3's per game.

Perfect When - The Lions are perfect this year when they do the following things: score 90+ (4-0), have more assists (7-0) and out shoot the opponent (9-0).

NCAA Stat Leaders - The Lions, as a team, rank 12th nationally in free throw attempts, while ranking 8th in made free throws. They rank 32nd in free throw percentage and three point defense. Individually, Austin Wright ranks 12th in three point percentage and 27th in three's per game. Greg Renfroe ranks 32nd in total blocks and 39th in blocks per game, while Taevaunn Prince ranks 27th in made free-throws and 41st in free throw attempts.

MIAA Stat Leaders - The Lions, as a team, lead the MIAA in free throws made and three point defense. The team ranks second in free throw attempts, while ranking third in offensive rebounds and offense, fourth in blocks per game and field goal defense. Individually, Wright leads the league in three point shooting, while ranking second in three's/game. Prince ranks second in made free throws, while Renfroe ranks second in both total blocks and blocks per game. 

Up Next - Southern will be back in action on Jan. 24 when the Lions travel to Missouri Western. Tip off from St. Joseph is slated for 3:30 pm.

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