MIAA Men's Basketball Report No. 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A battle of undefeated, high-scoring Top 25 squads soon to share a conference is among nine games on the MIAA men's basketball slate over the next week.

No. 7 Emporia State (4-0, 0-0 MIAA), one of three unbeaten team remaining in the conference, plays at future league foe and 22nd-ranked Nebraska-Omaha Saturday night (Dec. 8).

The Hornets have been idle since a 77-43 rout of Ottawa (Kan.) back on Nov. 26. It was ESU's lowest scoring output in the young season, dropping the team's scoring average to 85.5 ppg.

The Mavericks come in with a 6-0 mark and have averaged 87.8 points per game so far in 2007-08 -- including a pair of wins over Missouri Western (4-1, 0-0 MIAA) and No. 11 Northwest Missouri State (5-1, 0-0 MIAA) in their last two games.

Before UNO comes to town, Emporia State must take care of a 5-1 Newman (Kan.) squad on Wednesday (Dec. 5).

The Jets' only loss this season was at home to Pittsburg State (6-0, 0-0 MIAA) on Nov. 28

Like ESU, Western has a pair of games this week -- both against Great Lakes Valley Conference schools.

The Griffons host Quincy (Ill.) Wednesday before the Rockhurst (Mo.) Hawks visit the Looney Complex Monday (Dec. 10).

Rockhurst hosts No. 18 Central Missouri (5-0, 0-0 MIAA) Saturday night, as the Mules play their first regular season game away from the Multipurpose Building.

UCM extended its home winning streak to 28 games (best active run in D-II) with a 64-41 win over St. Mary's (Texas) last Saturday (Dec. 1).

The Fort Hays State Tigers (5-1, 0-0 MIAA) will be aiming for their sixth win in a row when the Newman Jets visit Saturday.

FHSU picked up their first road win of the year with a big win at Nebraska-Kearney last Friday (Nov. 30), then downed Central Christian (Kan.), 88-49, Monday (Dec. 3).

Looking to get out of the lose one, win two cycle they've been in so far this season, the Southwest Baptist Bearcats (4-2, 0-0 MIAA) will be looking for its first three-game win streak of the season when Quincy visits Saturday.

Two squads will be trying to snap losing skids this week. Missouri Southern (5-2, 0-0 MIAA) hosts Bacone (Okla.) Wednesday (Dec. 5) after dropping back-to-back games on the road at Northeastern (Okla.) State and at home to Augustana (S.D.).

Meanwhile, Truman (0-5, 0-0 MIAA) has a home date Saturday with Central Christian (Mo.), as the Bulldogs seek their first win since upsetting ESU in the opening round of the MIAA Postseason Tournament last season -- a span of six games.

Northwest has an exhibition game against the Dreambuilders on Saturday -- it has been moved to 3 p.m. to allow fans to watch basketball in the afternoon and the Division II Football Playoff game in the evening.

Pitt State and Washburn (5-1, 0-0 MIAA) are idle this week. The Ichabods get back to action Dec. 12 at home against Baker (Kan.), while the Gorillas are off until the St. Mary's (Texas) River City Classic Dec. 17.

PSU ESCAPES NEWMAN WITH LAST-SECOND WIN: Junior G Carlos Taylor hit a driving basket with 5.1 seconds to play to lift Pittsburg State to a 78-76 road win over Newman (Kan.) Wednesday (Nov. 28) at Fugate Gymnasium.

Taylor scored four of his 12 points in the game's final minute to help the Gorillas remain unbeaten and knock the Jets from the ranks of the undefeated.

Senior G Keith Windom set up Pitt State's final possession by knocking the ball loose from Newman G Kyle Smith into the hands of Taylor, who called timeout with 21.7 seconds remaining.
Senior F/C Cory Abercrombie poured in a game-high 20 points for the Gorillas before fouling out with 1:05 to play in the game.

Windom and senior G/F Michael Hutchingson added 13 apiece while Taylor finished with 12 points and a career-high eight rebounds to go with seven assists.

The Gorillas shot 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field in the game and capitalized on 16 offensive rebounds in the contest. Newman shot 47 percent (25-of-53) from the field and the Jets knocked down 10 three-pointers (10-of-22) in the game.

MAVERICKS SNAP NORTHWEST'S HOME WIN STREAK AT 19: The Northwest Missouri State men's basketball team dropped a non-conference match-up with Nebraska-Omaha, 80-66, Saturday (Dec. 1), losing its first home game since Feb. 2, 2006 -- snapping a run of 19 straight wins.

The Bearcats never led and the Mavericks hot shooting, hitting 10-of-27 from three-point range, kept Northwest from making a run in the second half.

Sophomore G Lance Sullivan led Northwest with 16 points, hitting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Junior F Hunter Henry extended his double-digit scoring streak to 33 games, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half.

The Bearcats struggled to contain Michael Jenkins and Andrew Bridger, who poured in 21 and 18 points respectively for UNO, and Justin Peterson dominated the glass recording 15 boards, 11 on the defensive end.

Northwest will battle Nebraska-Omaha again on Dec. 14 in Omaha, Neb.

WU STOPS NO. 17 UCO IN OT: Senior G James Williams converted a three-point play to force overtime, and his two free throws in the final 20 seconds secured a 71-68 Washburn win over No. 17 Central Oklahoma Tuesday night (Dec. 4) at Lee Arena.

Williams, a transfer from St. Bonaventure (N.Y.), scored 14 of his 17 points after halftime to lead the WU attack. He followed his missed three-point try and was fouled as he made the bucket with 1:15 to go in regulation, and tied the game with his foul shot. Both teams missed treys before the second half ended.

UCO (6-2) hit a trey with 38 seconds left in the extra session to cut WU's lead to 69-68, but Williams made two charities with 20 seconds left, and senior F Paul Byers corralled a three-point try missed by the Bronchos to secure the win.

Senior F Kyle Snider had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season. Junior G Angel Santiago added 11 points off the bench.

TIP-INS: Fort Hays State junior G Terry Jeffries scored five points in the final 10 seconds to vault the Tigers to a 79-75 win at Nebraska-Kearney Friday (Nov. 30) -- he converted a three-point play with 10 seconds on the clock, then sank two free throws with two seconds remaining to ice the game... Central Missouri had 21 steals -- three shy of the school record -- in its 64-42 win over St. Mary's (Texas) Saturday (Dec. 1)... Junior G Banks Estridge of Truman scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half in the Bulldogs' 71-66 loss Saturday to Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), including eight in a row to cut the deficit to five with 2:23 to go.

MIAA Men's Basketball Player of the Week

For the week of action ending Dec. 2

Jim Grabowski, F
Southwest Baptist University

Grabowski, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound senior from Bolivar, Mo., scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half as the Bearcats posted a 98-59 home victory over Central Bible (Mo.) last Tuesday (Nov. 27).

He nearly posted a double-double in the first half with nine rebounds (three offensive) to go with the 20 points. Grabowski was 8-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-4 from the three-point arc, and made both free throw tries in 17 minutes of action, as SBU held a 49-23 lead at the break.

He finished the night 10-of-15 from the field, 2-of-5 from long range and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe.

Grabowski is a graduate of Bolivar High School, and transferred to SBU from Washington (Mo.) University following his freshman season.

Others nominated: Wes Book, G, ESU; Reggie Bunch, F, MWSU; Banks Estridge, G, TSU, Terry Jeffries, G, FHSU; Carlos Taylor, G, PSU; Skip Thomas, F, UCM.

Previous winners: 11/19 -- Reggie Bunch, F, MWSU; 11/26 -- Hunter Henry, F, NWMSU.

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