Creekmore Leads Bears to 35-28 Halftime Lead in Carbondale
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Behind 16 first-half points from senior Will Creekmore, the Missouri State Bears have a 35-28 lead over Southern Illinois at SIU Arena in Missouri Valley Conference play.
The Bears are looking to win their 14th MVC contest of the season, which would be a new MSU standard for single-season conference victories.
Missouri State fell behind on a jumper by Carlton Fay 49 seconds into the game but answered with a three-pointer by Kyle Weems 16 seconds later and never trailed again.
The Bears ended the half 5-of-7 (.714) from three-point range, including two apiece from Jermaine Mallett and Adam Leonard.
Creekmore, however, was the difference maker in the first 20 minutes. The 2011 Academic All-American was 5-for-10 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free throw line to lead all players. His 16 points matched a team season high for points in a half.
Leonard finished the half with 8 points, while Mallett contributed 6. Weems had just 3 points but added 3 assists and a team-high 6 rebounds that helped MSU to a 22-15 rebounding advantage.
SIU got 6 points apiece from Mamadou Seck and John Freeman. Freeman collected all his points on three-pointers, and Seck added a game-high 9 boards. The Salukis were 11-of-32 (.344) from the field, 4-of-9 (.444) from beyond the arc, and 2-for-4 (.500) at the free throw line.
Missouri State had 8 first-half turnovers, compared to just 3 for SIU. The Salukis have 6 steals and 3 blocks.