MARYVILLE, Missouri - The No. 1-ranked Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team toppled the visiting William Jewell Cardinals, 102-59.
The Bearcats won for the 44th straight time and shot a blistering 59.4 percent from the field, which included 15-of-29 from three-point range (51.7%) in front of 1,323 fans in Bearcat Arena. Northwest has shot 55.6 percent or better in five of its six games this season. The Cardinals were held to 37.7% shooting from the field. The Cardinals made only 5-of-21 shots from the arc (23.8%).
The Bearcat blitz happened early and often as the home squad built a 29-8 lead barely 10 minutes into the contest. Northwest would lead by as may as 24 in the first half in building a 45-23 cushion over William Jewell.
The onslaught continued in the second half as Northwest led by as many as 45 at 93-48 with 4:32 to play in the game.
Northwest's bench provided quite a boost on Thursday as the trio of Luke Waters, Daric Laing and Jaran Richman combined to make 9-of-11 from beyond the three-point arc. Waters was 4-of-5 from distance, Laing went 3-of-4 and Richman buried both of his long-range jumpers. The Bearcat bench outscored the Cardinal bench, 29-20.
Not to be upstaged, the Bearcats starters did damage as well. Diego Bernard notched a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals. Trevor Hudgins earned a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists paired with three steals. Ryan Hawkins poured in 19 points and added three steals.
Northwest (6-0 overall) will return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Illinois-Springfield in Bearcat Arena.
NOTES: Northwest reached the 100-point mark for the 12th time under head coach Ben McCollum ... Northwest has scored 92 or more points four times this season ... the Bearcats improved to 111-9 in home games since the start of the 2011-12 season ... Northwest has defeated William Jewell seven straight times and holds a 27-15 lead in the all-time series vs. the Cardinals ... Northwest has won 28 straight games in the month of November ... Ryan Welty was 2-of-2 from three-point range to improve his career mark to 196-of-383 (.512), which is the best among active NCAA Division II three-point field goal shooters.