The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 16, 2009

No. 5 Mountain State hosts Salem International tonight

After a loss at Lindsey Wilson last week that dropped Mountain State to No. 5 in the latest NAIA Division I poll, the Cougars will try to get back on track tonight against Salem International of the West Virginia Conference.

The Cougars did beat Allen University on Saturday.

“I agree that we haven’t played as well as we have been playing,” Bolen said. “We’ve had some people sick and banged up and we had a long stretch on the road where we had a lot more away games than home games. Sometimes that can take a toll. I don’t know if that’s what’s happening. But we have three tough games this week and two are at home.”

Mountain State (21-3) needs an impressive win at home to get back on track, after less than Cougar-like showings in their last three outings. Two, however, were wins.

Salem is in the midst of a 2-20 season, but the Tigers did take NCAA Division II No. 18 Alderson-Broaddus to the wire in a 77-70 loss Feb. 7. Two days later they were blown out by Concord at home, 90-69.

“They got a player (Demetrick Walker) eligible at the semester and since he has been playing, they have played a lot of close games,” Bolen said. “They have size, they have talent and I think they are a lot better than their record indicates.”

MSU is led by versatile Andrew Lee, who is leading the team in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (7.4). Lee also leads the team in steals and blocked shots.

“Andrew has been solid from day one,” Bolen said. “He works hard every day and has a great attitude. He’s a just a great player. He plays the game right and has been very beneficial to our team.”

Five other players are averaging in double digits, including A.J. Pigram (15.4), Nick Aldridge (15.3), Bo Harris (12.9), Tony Brown (10.7) and Marcus Hunter (10.0).

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