No. 1 Bearcats Efficiently Take Down No. 14 Lions, 96-75

JOPLIN, Missouri – The No. 1-ranked Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team extended its win streak to 15 in a row with a 96-75 road win over the No. 14-ranked Missouri Southern Lions on Thursday.

Northwest moved its season mark to 23-1 overall and 13-1 in MIAA play. It was the third straight 20-point plus victory margin for the Bearcats. Missouri Southern dropped to 18-5 overall and 11-3 in league play.

Redshirt freshman Luke Waters did not miss a shot and scored a career-high 19 points. Waters went 8-of-8 from the field, including a trio of three-pointers.

Sophomore Trevor Hudgins led all scorers with 33 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Hudgins knocked in 7-of-13 three-pointers and was 6-of-7 at the free throw line.

Junior Ryan Hawkins collected his seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. It was Hawkins’s 19th career double-double.

Sophomore Diego Bernard stuffed his stat sheet with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.

The Bearcats buried 61.7% of their shots from the field, including 50% (13-of-26) from three-point land. Northwest shot 58.8% (20-of-34) in the first half and followed it up with 65.4% (17-of-26) in the second half.

The Lions shot a respectable 55.6% from the field but found themselves on the short end of a 21-point defeat. The Lions turned it over 11 times, while the Bearcats had five turnovers.

MSSU’s Cam Martin tallied 29 points on 12-of-17 from the field and he grabbed seven rebounds to go along with three turnovers.

Northwest will return to action Saturday at Pittsburg State. Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. in Pittsburg, Kansas.

NOTES: Northwest has made at least 10 three-pointers in six straight games … Northwest won the rebounding battle, 30-20 … Northwest has gone 32-4 on the road in the MIAA over the last four-plus seasons … Northwest has a mark of 116-15 in the MIAA over the past seven seasons … Ryan Welty and Tyler Dougherty moved their career marks to 123-6 and moved to within four of the Northwest win record of 127 set by Dray Starzl.