Friday, December 10, 2010

SBU men go for seventh straight victory

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- With another win, the SBU Bearcats will match their longest winning streak from last season of seven straight victories. The Pittsburg State Gorillas, who have gotten off to a fast 6-1 start, stand in their way. Fans can catch the game live on KBFL 99.9, or find live video online at

SBU head coach Jeff Guiot continues in his seventh season on the Bearcat bench, where he has won three MIAA regular season titles, and compiled a 133-57 (.700) record. Coach Guiot has led the ‘Cats to an MIAA Tournament appearance each season, and three NCAA Tournament appearnaces. Last season, SBU won 20 games for the third consecutive season, marking the first time in the history of the program the feat has been accomplished.

In his first season, Kevin Muff became the 14th all-time head coach of the Pitt State program. He takes over for former head coach Gene Iba, who retired after 15 seasons with a 261-172 record leading the Gorillas.

The Bearcats have won the past six meetings with the Gorillas, tying the all-time series at 26-26. The last win for Pittsburg came in the first round of the MIAA Tournament, in 2007.

Senior guard Tomas Brock reached the 20-point mark for the third straight game, scoring 23, as the SBU Bearcats blow out the Truman Bulldogs, 108-75. Ryan Dougherty finished just shy of a triple-double, with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win.

SBU built their lead up to 28 points by the end of the first half, highlighted by 16 points from Dougherty. Freshman Lane Barlow came in off the bench to hit three straight treys to help cushion the Bearcats’ advantage.

The Bearcats kept the pedal down during the second half, maintaining a 30-or-more point lead throughout much of the second act. Truman pulled to within 24, the closest point of the second half, with an and-one layup by Ethan Freeman, who hit the free throw to make it a 87-63 SBU lead. Freeman finished with 13 points, while Henderson and Tom Norton both led Truman with 15 points each.

Barlow, along with Robson Memnon each finished with 12 points, as Memnon came within a rebound of the season’s first double-double. The Bearcats shot 50.6% from the field, the fifth time this year the ‘Cats have finished above .500. SBU has gone 5-0 in those games.

• Senior guard Tomas Brock was named MIAA Student-Athlete of the Week, after scoring a career-high 32 points in the upset win over #12 Central Missouri.

• After Brock’s 80 points in his last three games, his scoring average rose by nearly six points per game. The senior point guard now is the second-leading scorer for the Bearcats, with 15.3 points per game (11th in MIAA). In conference games, Brock leads the MIAA with 26.7 points per game.

• Junior Ryan Dougherty currently leads the team with 15.9 points per game (10th in MIAA), shooting 51.0% from the floor, the conference’s sixth-best percentage.

• The Bearcats boast four of the top ten best three-point shooters in the MIAA. Brock (51.4%, 3rd), Zach Kleine (45.5%, 4th), Tremaine Hill (44.8%, 5th), and Nick James (44.2%, 6th) are all among the league leaders in three-point percentage.

• Kleine, along with Lane Barlow continue to make an impact coming off the SBU bench. The freshman duo average a combined 11.8 points per game. Barlow set a career high with 12 points against Truman.

• Three times now, a Bearcat has come within a rebound of recording the season’s first double-double: Kurt Koenig and Memnon each had nine rebounds against Missouri S&T, and scored in double-figures, and Memnon did it again against Truman (12 pts, 9 reb).

• Koenig (10.1 ppg) is the third Bearcat to average double figures this season. The senior also ranks third in the MIAA with 1.3 blocks per game among conference matchups.

• SBU has won 47 of the last 50 games at the Meyer Sports Center, including a streak of 38 straight wins that stretches from 2007-10. SBU’s win over Drury earlier this year marked Coach Guiot’s 70th win in Bolivar.

The Gorillas have gotten off to a solid start, with their only loss coming on the road against Missouri Western. Pitt State has done a good job controlling the boards, out-rebounding their opponents by almost 10 per game. Defensively, the Gorillas average 10.1 steals per game, third-best in the MIAA.

Eric Ray has led the Pittsburg offense, averaging 16.7 points per game in conference play. JaVon McGee is averaging seven rebounds a night since the start of the MIAA schedule.

Defensively, Andra Bailey is the Gorillas’ key, with 1.3 blocks per game (3rd in MIAA) to go along with 3 steals per game (2nd in MIAA).

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