Bulldog Men Close Calendar Year with Hornets
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KIRKSVILLE - - With finals behind them, the Truman men’s basketball team can put its focus on a two-game winning streak to close the calendar year on Saturday night against Emporia (Kan.) State. The Bulldogs and Hornets will tipoff at 7:30 pm inside Pershing Arena.
Truman (3-5, 1-3 MIAA) notched its first conference win of the season last Saturday (Dec. 11) when it dispatched of Washburn, 83-78, in Kirksville. Four players scored in double-figures for the ’Dogs, led by senior Alex Henderson’s 23 and a double-double for junior center Vesko Filchev.
Emporia State (6-4, 3-1 MIAA), meanwhile, comes into Saturday off its first MIAA loss – a 68-66 setback at Central Missouri, also last Saturday. The Hornets had a chance to take down the Mules on the road, but a foul with seven seconds to play led to a pair of UCM free throws and the two-point win. All three ESU MIAA wins have been at home, coming against Nebraska-Omaha, Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri.
Saturday evening will mark the 38th all-time meeting between the Bulldogs and Hornets, with ESU holding a 24-13 edge. Emporia swept last year’s season series and has posted six straight wins dating back to the first-round of the 2007 MIAA tournament, when Truman downed the Hornets, 88-75.
Under head coach Jack Schrader (since 1995), the Bulldogs are 8-21 against Emporia and are 3-10 in Kirksville. The last home win against ESU came on Feb. 4, 2005, when Andy Calmes tipped in a Banks Estridge miss with 1.1 seconds to play to give the Bulldogs a 68-67 victory.
Truman continues to be led offensively by the 6-foot-0 Henderson, who comes in at 16.9 ppg and is the MIAA leader in three-point percentage at 55% (21-for-38). He has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season, and is joined at the top of the Bulldog scoring chart by fellow backcourt-mate, sophomore Tom Norton. Norton is averaging 11.5 ppg and is the team-leader with 23 made three-pointers.
Senior forward Ethan Freeman is the squad’s top post presence, as he is nearly averaging a double-double at 11 points and nine rebounds per game. Freeman is second in the MIAA in rebounding.
104.7 FM KRES is the official radio home of Truman football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. Brad Boyer and Hank Janssen will provide coverage throughout the season of Truman basketball on the Moberly-based station.
KRES broadcasts its sports coverage online at centralmoinfo.com. Fans can also watch MIAA games on their computer this season through AmericaOne/B2 Networks for a fee.
Live stats for all Bulldog games throughout the season will be made available via links on the men’s basketball schedule page at TrumanBulldogs.com.
Truman is off for an extended period of time, as MIAA play does not resume for the ’Dogs until January 3. That will kick-start the longest road trip by mileage for the team, as the Bulldogs will head to Fort Hays State for a Monday night showdown before swinging through Nebraska-Omaha on Wednesday, Jan. 5, to take on the Mavericks.