Bears Pick Up Road Win at Evansville
Feb. 5, 2014
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Missouri State (16-7, 6-5 MVC) picked up its fourth road win of the season here Wednesday with a 66-54 victory over Evansville behind the efforts of Jarmar Gulley and Ron Mvouika who both posted double-doubles for the Bears.
It was Gulley’s ninth straight double-figure scoring game and fourth double-double of the league season as he finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Mvouika posted 14 points and 10 rebounds to pace the win.
Evansville (10-14, 3-8) was led by Egidiju Mockevicius who scored 14 with 10 rebounds, while the league’s top scorer, D.J. Balentine, was held to just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. The Aces also went 0-for-13 from 3-point range and never led.
After the home club ended the first half on a 12-1 run to make it a four-point game at the break, Missouri State came out on fire to start the second half. The Bears scored 9 unanswered points, including the first four by Christian Kirk, over the first three-and-a-half minutes of the final stanza to lead 40-27.
Evansville rode the shoulders of Mockevicius midway through the half to close within 51-45 with just under 8 minutes remaining, but senior Emmanuel Addo pushed the Bears ahead by 11 two minutes later with an open 3-pointer from the top of the key.
After Duane Gibson missed a pair of foul shots for the Aces with 5:23 to play, the Bears scored on a fast transition bucket by Austin Ruder that made it 58-45 at the 4:40 mark, and UE would get no closer than 8 the rest of the way.
MSU went 6-for-10 at the line in the final 2:15, but kept Evansville at arm’s length with solid defense that gave up just two field goals in the clutch.
The Bears finished 21-of-52 (.404) from the field, 5-of-16 (.313) from 3-point range and 19-of-30 (.633) at the line while out-rebounding Evansville, 44-34. MSU committed 14 turnovers but snagged 9 steals, including 4 by Gulley.
Evansville was 18-for-51 (.353) from the field and 18-of-28 (.643) at the line with 16 turnovers.
An 11-0 run midway through the opening half pushed the visitors ahead by as many as 15 points to establish the early momentum. Gulley’s jumper with just over 8 minutes left in the opening period made it a 27-12 game, and Mvouika’s steal, layup and ensuing free throw to complete a 3-point play, later made it 30-15 at the 5:15 mark.
However, the home club held MSU without a field goal for the rest of the period and ended the half on a 12-1 run to make it a 31-27 contest at the intermission.
The Bears will wrap their current two-game MVC road swing Saturday at Southern Illinois (9-15, 5-6 MVC) with a 6 p.m., tipoff from SIU Arena. The game in Carbondale is part of the MVC TV Network coverage provided primarily through FOX Sports Midwest. MSU returns home on Wednesday, Feb. 12 to take on Drake at 7 p.m., in an ESPN3 exclusive telecast.
Tickets for the Drake game are available at MissouriStateBears.com/tickets and during regular box office hours at JQH Arena or by phone at (417) 836-7678.