Bears Score 104-71 Exhibition Victory Sunday
G - Austin Ruder
G - Austin Ruder

Oct. 27, 2013

Final Stats Lusk Postgame Press Conference  |  Players Postgame Press Conference Tickets for MSSU Game

SPRINGFIELD -- Six Missouri State players scored in double figures, and freshman Austin Ruder scored a team-high 16 to lead the Bears past visiting McKendree University, 104-71, here Sunday afternoon in exhibition men's basketball action.
Ruder was 4-for-7 from 3-point range and led a talented trio of freshmen standouts for Paul Lusk's squad that also included 10 points and 4 assists from Devon Thomas and 9 points, 7 rebounds and 6 blocks from Tyler McCullough.
Mike DiGregorio led five McKendree players in double figures with a game-high 17 points, while Arthur Williams notched a game-high 10 rebounds and scored 10 points for Harry Statham's club.
The visitors jumped out to a six-point lead early in the first half as DiGregorio reeled off 11 points in the span of less than five minutes. His 3-pointer at the 15:38 mark gave the Bearcats a 10-4 advantage less than five minutes into the game. After a pair of free throws from DiGregorio pushed the visitors ahead 16-15 with just over 11 minutes left in the half, the home club got rolling and put together an impressive 22-0 run.
Christian Kirk started and ended the run, first on a put-back jumper off a Ruder miss and later on a dunk at the 5:22 mark that put the Bears ahead 37-16. Newcomer Emmanuel Addo, a transfer from Northern Colorado, was also pivotal on the run as he dropped in six points over the six-minute stretch that decided the game. Missouri State kept the pressure on the visitors the rest of the half and extended its lead to 23 on a jumper by Gavin Thurman just before the intermission to lead 51-28 at the break.
MSU stayed on track in the second half, starting with a quick start from McCullough who scored on a hook shoot and dunk in the first two minutes.  Midway through the second stanza, Michael Simpson's 3-pointer put the Bears ahead by 30 for the first time with the first of his two 3-pointers. Ruder's final 3-pointer of the game with just 38 seconds left pushed the Bears' advantage to 35 points, their biggest lead of the afternoon.
In all, 13 of MSU's 14 players in uniform wound up in the scoring column with Kirk scoring 11, and Addo, Thurman and Marcus Marshall joining Thomas with 10 points. Addo was one rebound shy of a double-double. Kirk and Thurman each pitched in 7 rebounds apiece.
McKendree, which fell to 0-2 in the preseason, also got 15 points from Clinton Happe, 13 from Matt Holmes off the bench, and 10 from Jeremy Price.
MSU finished 42-for-75 (.560) from the field, 8-of-23 (.348) from beyond the arc, and 12-for-24 (.500) at the line, while out-rebounding the Bearcats by an impressive 56-34 margin.
With the new NCAA rules in full effect, there were 50 total personal fouls called, including 30 against the home club. McKendree finished 28-of-44 (.636) from the foul line, with DiGregorio making 10 of his 13 charity shots to lead all players.
The Bears wrap their preseason slate Tuesday at 7:35 p.m., when they host Missouri Southern State University at JQH Arena in Springfield. Tickets are available at or during regular box office hours at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena or by phone at (417) 836-7678.



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