ODU Distance Shooting the Difference in MSU BracketBusters Loss

Feb. 18, 2012

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SPRINGFIELD -- Old Dominion (18-11) knocked down 12 three-pointers and got 28 points from Kent Bazemore to turn back Missouri State, 73-67, here Saturday in a nationally-televised match-up in the Sears BracketBusters series on ESPNU.

Bazemore finished 9-for-15 from the field, including 4-for-5 from bonus distance. Trian Iliadis also buried four three-pointers to finish with 14 points for the Monarchs from the Colonial Athletic Association.

Kyle Weems led four Missouri State players in double figures with 15 points and 6 rebounds, while Anthony Downing and Jarmar Gulley pitched in 13 points apiece. Keith Pickens also tallied 11 points for MSU in his third straight start.

Statistically, the game was a virtual dead heat with MSU (16-13) out-rebounding the visitors 30-29 and both teams committing 9 turnovers. Likewise, the Bears and Monarchs both hit 25 field goals and 11 free throws, but it was ODU's long-range tactics that made the difference time and again.

A 10-0 run by Old Dominion in the last three minutes of the first half put the visitors ahead 30-27 at the intermission.  However, the Bears came out of the locker room storming and collected a dunk by Christian Kirk and transition layup by Downing to climb back on top 31-30.

A Pickens layup just under three minutes into the second half put the Bears ahead 36-33, but a trey from Iliadis a minute later helped spark a 10-0 Monarchs' run. By the time the run peaked at the 15:24 mark, Old Dominion led 43-36.

MSU got back within three on a Downing drive and another Kirk dunk after the under-16 media timeout. But Iliadis dropped in another trey for the visitors who later made it a 51-42 game with just under 12 minutes to go on a Donte Hill bomb.

The Bears continued to battle and cut their deficit to five later in the half. A transition bucket by Downing, and a Gulley field goal made it 53-48 at the 9:34 mark. However, a soft foul on Downing sent Bazemore to the line on ODU's next possession, and his two charity shots ignited him with ODU's next nine points over the next five minutes.

With three-and-a-half minutes left, Pickens stripped the ball from Bazemore near mid-court and raced down the floor for a layup. Bazemore fouled the sophomore on the play, giving Pickens a chance to pull the Bears back within five points. Pickens missed the ensuing and-one free throw, and then Iliadis dropped in his final trey of the night to push the visitors' lead to 65-56.

The proud Bears rallied in the final two minutes when Caleb Patterson scored a short jumper, and Downing knocked down a clutch three-pointer over a 21-second span to make it a 67-62 game. Bazemore made a pair of free throws with 1:32 to play, but Weems responded with a trey nine seconds later to make it a four-point contest.

Hill made one-of-two free throws with 1:19 left, and Patterson responded with a solid drive to the bucket and nearly got the roll on a physical play at the rim. However, he was fouled and converted both shots to make it 70-67 with 68 seconds to play.

The Bears buckled down on defense on ODU's next possession and got a stop by forcing Bazemore into a missed jumper as the shot clock expired. Gulley tracked down the long rebound, and MSU quickly got the ball down the floor to Patterson who missed from point-blank range in heavy traffic.

Paul Lusk's club then had to foul and sent Nick Wright to the line. Wright missed the back end of a two-shot foul opportunity to keep the Bears within four points, but MSU missed two three-point attempts on their next trip down the floor. Bazemore then put the game on ice with a pair of free throws with eight ticks to go, capping a 6-for-6 night at the foul line for him.

ODU shot 65 percent from the field in the second half and 51 percent (25-for-49) for the game. More importantly, the Monarchs made six treys in each half and finished 12-for-22 (.545) from bonus distance and 11-for-16 (.688) at the line.

The Monarchs' 12 three-pointers were their second-most this season.

Missouri State shot a respectable 55.2 percent in the second period and finished 25-for-55 (.455) from the field and 6-of-20 (.300) from long distance. The Bears were 11-for-14 (.786) at the line, but missed two foul shots in the final 3:28.

MSU, which is 7-0 all-time in BracketBusters return games, will get a rematch with ODU in Norfolk during the 2013-14 season.

In the interim, the Bears close out their regular-season home slate Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. against Indiana State (16-12, 7-9). MSU sits at 9-7 in the MVC standings which puts the Bears alone in third place with just two games remaining before the State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Louis, March 1-4.

Tickets for Senior Night against Indiana State -- the final home appearance for the club's seniors Kyle Weems, Caleb Patterson, Isaiah Rhine and Michael Bizoukas -- are available now at www.MissouriStateTix.com, by calling (417) 836-7678 or stopping by the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena during regular box office hours.



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