Looking to build on a two-game conference winning streak, the Truman men's basketball team faces divisional opponents Missouri-St. Louis and Maryville (Mo.) in a split weekend of competition this Thursday and Saturday. The Bulldogs (10-3, 3-2 GLVC) host UMSL (9-4, 3-2 GLVC) in a battle of second-place Great Lakes Valley Conference west division squads at 7:30 pm on Thursday night before traveling to Maryville (8-4, 2-2 GLVC) on Saturday afternoon for a 3 pm tilt with the Saints
. Both games will be the first of two between the teams this season, as Truman is joined by UMSL, MU and Quincy as one of two west division "pods" for scheduling purposes. Truman is coming off a clean sweep of east division teams last weekend, downing Illinois Springfield 76-70 on Thursday night before drubbing McKendree 91-60 on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs recovered from an 0-2 trip the weekend prior to close out the school's winter break with a pair of victories. Thursday night's game will mark the first GLVC home game with students back on campus. Truman head coach Matt Woodley is in his third season at the helm of the Bulldog program, having posted a 28-40 record during his time in Kirksville.
A former MIAA rival kicks off the weekend for Truman, as the Bulldogs welcome back the Missouri-St. Louis Tritons to Pershing Arena on Thursday night.
The two squads played 27 of their 34 all-time meetings as members of the MIAA from 1981 through 1996.
This season, UMSL is out to a 9-4 overall start, having played four of the same five opponents as Truman to a 3-2 GLVC record. The Tritons have a +7.5 scoring margin and lead the GLVC in three-point shooting at 43.4%.
UMSL is just 2-2 away from home this season, but did pick up a pair of road wins at McKendree (105-78) and Ill.-Springfield (69-67) to kick off league play. A balanced starting lineup sees all five regular starters averaging double figures, led by Femi John's 14.1 ppg. Aareon Smith has added 12.2 ppg and a team-best 6.5 rpg, while Darlan Cartharn and Michael Weber co-lead the Tritons with 34 triples each. Bob Sundvold is in his first season at the direction of the UMSL program - after serving stints as the head coach at Central Missouri and Missouri-Kansas City.
He has a 9-4 record at UMSL and a 134-112 record overall as a collegiate head coach. Maryville, meanwhile, carries an 8-4 record (2-2 GLVC) into the weekend and will host Quincy on Thursday night prior to Truman's visit on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints earned a split last weekend, downing Lewis 83-74 in 2OT on Jan. 9 before falling 84-63 to UW-Parkside on Jan. 11
Courtesy Truman State University