The Truman State men's basketball team (6-10, 3-5 MIAA) will try to get back to the .500-mark in MIAA play with a pair of games against out-of-state and distant conference foes.
Truman starts the weekend with a Thursday night duel with MIAA-newcomer Nebraska-Kearney (5-11, 2-6 MIAA) at 7:30 pm before taking the FHSU Tigers (10-5, 4-3 MIAA) to the floor at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
Truman is coming off a 1-1 week in which the program notched its first win against a top-10 team under head coach Matt Woodley when it defeated then-10th-ranked Washburn 64-56 in Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, Truman fell 63-59 to MIAA-leading Central Missouri at home, after the â??Dogs led by five with just more than five minutes to play.
UNK enters the week having recently defeated Missouri Southern 74-66 in Joplin last Saturday, while FHSU will travel to Lindenwood on Thursday night before visiting the â??Ville on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs are scoring 71.1 ppg on the season (69.5 MIAA), shooting 44.9% from the field (43.8% MIAA), and 35.9% from three-point range (37.0% MIAA).
The Bulldogs are connecting at a 70.7% clip from the foul line through all 16 games, with that mark raised to 75.8% in eight MIAA games.
Truman has already surpassed its 2012 road win total (2-12) through five road contests (3-2 in 2013) and is three wins away from matching the 2012 home win total (6-7) with four to play within the friendly confines of Pershing Arena.
The Bulldogs are ranked in the top-third of MIAA team statistics in three-pointers made per game (4
; 7.6), assist-to-turnover ratio (4
; 1.2), three-point field goal percentage (5
; 35.9%) and turnover margin (5
Mike Carlson is one of the MIAAâ??s top players statistically this year, ranking third in the MIAA in free throw percentage (87.5%), fourth in blocks (1.3), sixth in scoring (16.3), eighth in steals (1.7), 10
in field goal percentage (53.0%) and 15
in rebounding (5.9).
Cory Myers ranks eighth in the MIAA in assists (4.1), while he and his brother, Cole, are tied for 13
in steals at 1.4 per game.
Series Notes vs. Neb.-Kearney:
Series Record: Never Met.
Last Meeting: Never Met.
Series Streak: Never Met.
Record in Kirksville: Never Met.
Last TSU win in Kirksville: Never Met.
Woodley vs. Nebraska-Kearney: 0-0
Scouting the Lopers:
Conference newcomer Nebraska-Kearney is 5-11 overall on the season, including a 2-6 mark in the MIAA.
The Lopers are 3-6 away from home this year, but have won two straight MIAA road affairs (60-57 @ NSU; 74-66 @ MSSU).
The Lopers are led by senior guard Jon Hendersonâ??s 14.9 ppg (12
in MIAA) and 86% FT shooting, while sophomore guard/forward Pierre Newton (13.3) and junior forward Mike Dentlinger (12.9) also rank in the MIAAâ??s top-25 in individual scoring. UNK is averaging 71.4 ppg as a team but is allowing more than 78 points per contest.
UNK is not a deep team, as evidenced by Henderson, Newton and sophomore forward Tyler Shields all playing more than 32 minutes per night (all top-10 in MIAA).
Tom Kropp and Kevin Lofton have been co-coaches of the UNK program since the 2005-06 season.
Courtesy Truman State University