Checking in on the… Missouri ValleyPosted by nvr1983 on February 8th, 2009
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and My Standings (Conference Record)(Last Week Rank)
- Northern Iowa (17-7) (11-2)(1)
- Creighton (19-6)(9-4) (2)
- Illinois St. (19-5) (8-5)(3)
- Bradley (13-11) (7-6) (4)
- Evansville (15-8) (7-6) (5)
- Drake (15-10) (6-7) (6)
- Southern Illinois (11-13) (6-7) (7)
- Wichita St. (11-13) (5-8) (8)
- Missouri St. (10-14) (3-10) (9)
- Indiana St. (5-19) (3-10) (10)
The Missouri Valley Conference is part of the ESPNU Bracketbusters event (February 21st) once again this season and received 4 games on one of the ESPN family of networks:
- Illinois State at Niagara (2/20)
- Miami (OH) at Evansville
- Northern Iowa at Siena
- George Mason at Creighton
The play in the wild and wacky Missouri Valley Conference continues.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Creighton 77, Northern Iowa 71—Creighton was team to break the Valley leader Northern Iowa’s 11-game winning streak in a wild and wacky game. Creighton was out-rebounded by 45-26 and Creighton’s leading scorers P’Allen Stinnett and Booker Woodfox were limited to single digits. However, Northern Iowa shot only 29% for the game and their 30-of-32 from the free throw line was not enough. The Bluejays want to make the Valley race a little interesting as they now hold 2nd place in the Valley by themselves.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Justin Carter, Creighton—For the second week in a row, Mr. Carter gets player of the week honors. He has carried the Creighton basketball team on his shoulders over the past couple of weeks and had a 17 point, 6 rebound and 4 assist performance to lead the Bluejays in knocking off league-leading Northern Iowa. With Booker Woodfox and P’Allen Stinnett struggling, Carter has picked up his production in scoring and rebounding to become that third option for the Bluejays, which will make them tough to beat down the stretch.
TEAMS PLAYING WELL
Creighton (2-0 this week)—Creighton was the only Valley team to go undefeated this week in the Valley. In fact they are currently on a 4-game winning streak after winning two road games against the Iowa teams (Drake and Northern Iowa). Also, Creighton has won in Cedar Falls 5 straight years now marking the first time the Jays have beaten the same opponent on the road in five straight seasons since topping Washington University five years in a row from 1936-40. Practices have been a total 180 for this team and it is starting to show up in games.
UP AND DOWN
Northern Iowa (1-1 this week)—Northern Iowa opened the week on the road against Bradley with a tough win. However, they ran into the Creighton Bluejays who were looking for retribution for the loss in Omaha earlier in the season. The 3-guard attack of Johnny Moran, Ali Farokhmanesh, and Kwadzo Ahelegbe was working well until the Creighton game where they shot 4-for-17 from three against Creighton on Sunday.
Illinois St (1-1 this week)—Illinois St. tried to keep pace with Northern Iowa and had their opportunity to jump into the race for the top after winning at Southern Illinois earlier in the week, but they followed that up with a loss in overtime to the last place team in the conference, Indiana St. on a last second shot by Harry Marshall.
Southern Illinois (1-1 this week)—Southern Illinois is looking at the prospects of missing postseason play for the first time in several seasons. Losing to Illinois St. at home makes it 3 losses at home for the Salukis this season. This is unheard of for SIU over the past few seasons. But then like this team being its inconsistent self, they went on the road and won at Missouri St. Justin Bocot doesn’t take warm-ups lightly) and the rest of the team can learn something as he scored a career high 28 against Missouri St. The Salukis took a blow this week and are down to 8 players left after what looks to be a season-ending injury to team leader Bryan Mullins.
Evansville (1-1 this week)—Evansville couldn’t hang with Missouri St. at JQH Arena, but was able to run Wichita St. out of the gym at home this week behind a 32-6 run that started at the end of the first half and extended into the second half. The leading active scorer in the Valley Jason Holsinger was 5-of-6 from three and led them with 21 points.
Drake (1-1 this week)—Drake lost to Creighton earlier in the week to extend their losing streak to 3, but then were able to break it by beating Bradley. The Joshes (Josh Young and Josh Parker) had 18 and 16 points respectively in an ugly game with 37 turnovers and 38 fouls. Drake would like Young to get to the line a little more often.
Missouri St. (1-1 this week)—Missouri St. is one of several teams in the Valley playing a spoiler role. They beat Evansville, but then lost at home to Southern Illinois. It is really too bad that the MSU/SIU game was on ESPN2 to showcase the Valley this week.
Indiana St. (1-1 this week)—Indiana St. can put feathers in their cap that they beat both Northern Iowa and Illinois St. at their home courts this season. The win against the Redbirds is maybe that turning point that they are looking for.
Wichita St. (1-1 this week)—The battle of the bottom against Indiana St. came with the Shockers coming out on top in that one, but they ran out of gas against Evansville. Wichita St. is one of those teams that none of the top of the Valley want to see in the MVC tourney as they could realistically cause an upset. When Gregg Marshall and the Shockers found out their opponent for Bracketbusters, Marshall was not too happy with the assignment.
Bradley (0-2 this week)—Bradley was tied for 2nd with Creighton and Illinois St. to start the week, but lost both of their games this week. The blown game at home against UNI carried over to the road game at Drake. This is a bad time for Bradley to take a step back. Bradley was a little upset that they were left off TV for the Bracketbusters, but maybe that was a good thing after these performances.
GAMES OF INTEREST THIS WEEK
- 2/11, Bradley @ Creighton (Fox Sports Net)—Bradley is trying a last ditch effort to get a good seed for the MVC tournament while Creighton still has a slim chance to chase Northern Iowa.
- 2/11, Illinois St. @ Evansville—Illinois St. working for seeding here and trying for an opportunity to catch Northern Iowa.
- 2/11, Southern Illinois @ Northern Iowa—SIU is working on being a spoiler for the conference leaders
- 2/14, Creighton @ Southern Illinois (ESPN2)—As much as Southern Illinois has struggled this year, this rivalry is always a tough game.