Jan. 21, 2012
Final Stats (PDF) I Season Stats I MVC-Only Stats
PEORIA, Ill. -- Missouri State (12-9, 5-4) got 16 points from Caleb Patterson and 15 from Kyle Weems, but it was defense that made the difference late as the Bears snapped a three-game Missouri Valley Conference losing streak here Saturday with a 51-48 win over Bradley.
Freshman Christian Kirk drew a charge with 6.7 seconds left on the heels of an Anthony Downing charge with 3:12 to go to provide the Bears with a pair of monumental defensive stops in the game's defining moments.
The contest saw 9 lead changes and 8 ties, but MSU never trailed again after a Downing layup at the 3:39 mark. After his key defensive stop moments later, Bradley (6-15, 1-8) tied the game, 45-45, at the 2:27 mark on a jumper by Taylor Brown who scored a game-high 17 for the Braves.
Patterson's put-back with 1:10 to go was the last field goal of the night for MSU and put the visitors up 47-45. MSU was 4-for-4 at the line down the stretch with Weems and Nathan Scheer icing the game from the stripe
Bradley hit a desperation three by Walt Lemon, who finished with 13, that made it a 49-48 game with 1.3 seconds to go before Scheer's charity efforts closed out the victory.
MSU improved to 6-3 on the road this season and 3-1 in MVC games away from home.
The defensive gem saw both teams shoot under 40 percent, including a 17-for-49 (.347) effort by the Bears who had just four second-half turnovers. MSU was also 4-for-12 (.333) from three-point range and 13-of-17 (.765) from the line.
Bradley was 20-for-54 (.370) from the field and 3-of-16 (.188) from bonus distance. BU missed its only second-half free throw but finished 5-for-6 ( .833) while out-rebounding the Bears 38-32.
The Braves had 11 offensive rebounds in the game, but only two in the second period after Bradley led 20-19 at the half.
In the first half, Jarmar Gulley had 9 points to lead Missouri State. The Bears and Braves both got out of the gates trying to find their shooting touches. Missouri State went 6-for-16 and Bradley was 4-for-21 in the first 12 minutes of the first half. The Bears snapped out of an early 5-2 deficit with a layup by Downing and a three-pointer by Gulley to push ahead 7-5 at the 13:41 mark.
Bradley tied the game, 9-9, with 10:20 left in the first stanza on a leaner by Jordan Prosser, but the Bears answered immediately with a trey by Weems.
Bradley would pull within one point of the lead four more times before the intermission, but the Bears had an answer for nearly every run, with Gulley doing most of the damage on three first-half field goals.
With 1:33 left, the Braves got the benefit of a blocking foul on Patterson to take a 20-19 lead with a pair of foul shots by Lemon. Weems missed a jumper that would have given the lead back to the visiting side just before the halftime horn sounded to keep it a one-point deficit at the break.
Missouri State now heads to Illinois State (12-8, 4-5) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.