Solid Second Half Effort by Bears in 62-42 Loss at No. 22 OSU
Forward - Christian Kirk
Forward - Christian Kirk

Dec. 8, 2012

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STILLWATER, Okla. -- A solid second-half effort for Missouri State (2-7) was not enough to overcome a sizable deficit here Saturday as No. 22-ranked Oklahoma State (7-1) got 15 points from Markel Brown to pace a 62-42 victory over the visiting Bears.

Christian Kirk had 8 points and 7 rebounds for MSU, while Anthony Downing added 8 points. Gavin Thurman, Dorrian Williams and Nathan Scheer added 6 points apiece for the Bears, who shot 46.2 percent from the field in the second period and outscored the Cowboys 29-28 over the final 20 minutes.

However, Missouri State was just 6-for-28 (.214) from the field in the first half to fall behind 34-13 at the break. MSU responded passionately out of the gates in the second half. Kirk hit a quick layup on the first possession of the half to spark the rally, Marcus Marshall made a free throw on a flagrant OSU foul call, and Drew Wilson hit a layup in the first minute. Then, Kirk connected on a turn-around jumper before a Scheer 3-pointer made it a 34-23 game at the 16:48 mark.

Oklahoma State went five-and-a-half minutes without a field goal before it got a Le'Bryan Nash bucket at the 15:29 mark. Over the next four minutes, the lead teetered between 13 and 11 points for the Cowboys with Kirk scoring a reverse layup, and Thurman dropping in two quick baskets for the visitors, each one bringing the Bears back within 11 points of the lead.

But after a 3-pointer by Kirby Gardner pushed OSU's advantage to 45-31 at the 11:31 mark, the Cowboys reeled off 11 straight points. The Bears, meanwhile went cold for a five-minute stretch to give the home club a chance to run its advantage to 53-31.

Williams broke the cold spell with a reverse layup for Missouri State with just under seven minutes to play, and Downing capitalized on a pair of rare free throw opportunities 30 seconds later to get the Bears' deficit back under 20 at 53-35. But OSU, which was ranked No. 22 in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 23 in the AP poll, outscored the young Bears 9-7 in the game's final six minutes to stretch the final margin to 20.

The Bears finished 18-for-54 (.333) from the field, their best shooting effort since returning from Puerto Vallarta. The difference came on the boards with OSU dominating the glass by a 46-22 margin, including 15 offensive caroms the Cowboys turned into 12 second-chance points. OSU also took advantage of its free throw chances, making 16-of-23 (.696) from the line, compared to the Bears who were 3-of-7 (.429) from the stripe in limited opportunities.

OSU finished 21-for-49 (429) from the field. The Bears defended their Big 12 foes to just 4-of-23 (.174) from bonus distance, marking the fourth time in nine games MSU has held its opponents under 20 percent from long range.

Nash and Michael Cobbins added 10 points apiece for Oklahoma State, which had 17 turnovers.

In the first half, OSU parlayed nine offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points to take the 34-13 lead at the break.  The Bears took a 2-1 lead from the start on a floater by Keith Pickens, but surrendered 10 straight points from there over the next four minutes.  A pair of baskets by Downing brought the visitors back within 14-6, and Bruce Marshall's three-ball at the 10:41 mark made it a 16-9 contest.  But, Missouri State managed just two field goals the remainder of the half while the Cowboys outscored the Bears 18-4 before the intermission.

Missouri State now returns to JQH Arena next Saturday (Dec. 15) for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff with Horizon League favorite Valparaiso in a return game from the 2011 BracketBusters. Bryce Drew's Crusaders entered play today with a 6-2 record and return all five starters from a 22-12 club. The Bears are 7-0 all-time in BracketBusters return games.

Tickets for Saturday's game are available on-line at, and starting at 10 a.m. Monday at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena or by phone at (417) 836-7678.



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