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Missouri Valley Notebook

January 29, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Missouri Valley Notebook

by Alan Rubenstein

A week after earning the school’s first top ten ranking and becoming the first Valley team since 1986 to accomplish the feat, Creighton was stunned at Evansville, 74-66. The Aces used a stifling defense on Creighton All-America candidate Kyle Korver and rode the hot hand of conference player of the week Clint Cuffle. Cuffle was outstanding on both ends of the court as he shadowed Korver and contributed 21 points and eight rebounds while limiting Korver to 1-12 from the field and only five points. The Aces followed up the win with an 85-74 victory over cellar dweller Illinois State. Evansville came back from a seven point deficit at the half. The back-to-back wins by Evansville was the first time the Purple Aces accomplished that feat this season.

Southern Illinois will look to extend its 21-game home court winning streak against Bradley January 29. The Salukis extended the streak with a 60-48 win over Indiana State and now have the nation’s fifth-longest home court winning streak. SIU has not lost a home game since February 24, 2001 to Evansville, 79-74. The Salukis lit up the Cedar Falls sky by hitting 14 three-point field goals in an 88-78 victory at Northern Iowa.

Wichita State’s 6-1 start means the Shockers are off to their best start since 1985. They will also be looking for their first winning record in the conference since 1998. Wichita State is tied for second place in the Valley with Southwest Missouri State, a half game behind Creighton and SIU.

Creighton’s 89-79 win over Texas Christian on Sunday gave Blue Jay head coach Dana Altman his school record 163rd win. Creighton overcame a 12 point halftime deficit and 15 point first half deficit to post the win. The Jays trailed 48-36 at the half before outscoring TCU 53-31 in the second stanza. Korver recovered from his rough outing in Evansville by scoring 23 points and pulling down nine rebounds while hitting 4-7 from three point range.

You will often hear the phrase throw-back player used probably a bit too often. Northern Iowa point guard Chris Foster, the Valley’s leader in assists is certainly a modern day warrior. After breaking a bone is his hand at Bradley January 18th, the sophomore was expected to be out for three to five weeks. He returned to the court on Saturday night and contributed three points and three assists in a 70-53 loss to Southwest Missouri State.

After missing the season’s first 15 games with a stress fracture, Bradley junior forward Jason Faulnor returned for two games only to re-injure the foot. Faulnor gave the Braves 6.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds during his two game return.

Illinois State’s Victor Greene needs only 14 steals to become the school’s all time leader.

Barry Hinson, who has Southwest Missouri State off to their best start ever in the MVC, will be attempting to get his 100th career win as a head coach when the Bears host Drake January 28th.


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