Riding the program's longest conference winning streak in nearly 14 full seasons, the Truman men's basketball team kicks off a four-game home-stand this Thursday and Saturday by hosting former MIAA-rival Missouri S&T and defending national champion Drury. The Bulldogs (14-3, 7-2 GLVC) sit one game back of first place in the Great Lakes Valley Conference after rattling off six consecutive league victories ?? including three straight on the road against fellow GLVC West division foes Maryville, Rockhurst and William Jewell.
Truman will play host to Missouri S&T (9-8, 4-5 GLVC) on Thursday (Jan. 30) night at 7:30 pm before welcoming division-leading and No. 5 ranked Drury (16-1, 8-1 GLVC) on Saturday (Feb. 1) afternoon at 3 p.m. Truman is coming off a perfect 2-0 sweep through the GLVC's Kansas City programs, having used a big run in each contest to defeat Rockhurst 88-71 on Jan. 23 before squeezing William Jewell's offense for 40 minutes in a 67-52 win on Jan. 25.
The Bulldogs used a 27-5 run that encompassed 7:38 of second-half clock at RU as well as a 25-5 run that drained 8:56 of first-half time at WJC. At the halfway point of the GLVC regular season slate, the Bulldogs have a firm grasp on second place in the West division at 7-2 ?? one game behind Drury.
Truman has a three-game lead on both Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri S&T, who both check into this week's action at 4-5 in conference play. Head coach Matt Woodley is in his third season at the helm of the Bulldog program, having posted a 32-40 record during his time in Kirksville. The team's 14 wins this season have already surpassed win totals from each of Woodley's first two years at the helm. Making a Name for Themselves:
For the first time in the last 50 years of Truman men's basketball, the Bulldogs have started a season with 14 wins in their first 17 games.
Only five teams in the 94 seasons of men's basketball at the University have started at least 14-3, with the 1963-64 squad being the last team to start 14-3. That team proceeded to drop their 18th game to fall to 14-4.
Should Truman pick up a win on Thursday night, the team would be the first to win 15 of its first 18 games since the 1955-56 Bulldogs, who started their season 16-2.
That team lost its 19th game, so two Bulldog wins would even this year's squad with the 55-56 team at 16-3. with Truman on Thursday night, as Missouri S&T checks into Thursday night having just completed a perfect four-game home-stand from Jan. 16-25.
The Miners have certainly benefited from its home court this season, as the team is 7-3 in Rolla but just 2-5 in combined road/neutral games. The squad is the No. 1 scoring team in the GLVC at 90.9 ppg but has given up 89.4 ppg on the defensive end for just a +1.6 scoring margin.
Senior Bryce Foster is second in the GLVC in points at 21.0 per game, while fellow senior Mudi Eruteya leads the league in steals at 2.3 per game.
He also ranks fifth in scoring (18.3), sixth in rebounding (8.4), and fourth in assists (5.0). Jim Glash is in his fifth season at the S&T helm and has a record of 37-85 at the school.
Courtesy Truman State University