Bears Fall to No. 4/6 Louisville, 90-60
Dec. 17, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Missouri State (8-2) ran into a buzz saw here on Tuesday (Dec. 17), falling 90-60 to defending national champion Louisville (10-1) before 21,335 at the KFC Yum! Center.
Louisville had four players in double figures, including Montrezl Harrell who had 17, and 11 apiece by fellow starters Wayne Blackshear, Terry Rozier and Russ Smith.
The game attendance was the most ever to see a Bears’ game, topping the 20,172 that witnessed MSU’s upset of Tennessee in the 1999 NCAA Tournament in Charlotte.
After falling behind by 23 at the break, the Bears played within seven points of Louisville in the second half, as they shot a respectable 40.6 percent from the field and were out-rebounded just 24-20 in the second stanza.
MSU was able to trim the halftime deficit to 17 with 11:09 left in the game as Keith Pickens’ reverse layup and free throw made it a 62-45 contest. But the Bears would go the next five-plus minutes without a field goal, and the Cardinals drew ahead by 30 for the first time at the 5:33 mark.
For the game, MSU finished 22-of-58 (.379) from the field, 4-of-15 (.267) from long range and 12-of-20 (.600) at the line. The Bears tallied 30 rebounds, 10 offensive, and committed an uncharacteristic 13 turnovers.
Louisville was 34-of-66 (.515) from the field, 6-of-19 (.316) from downtown and just 16-of-30 (.533) at the line with 51 boards and 11 turnovers. Both teams had 5 steals.
The Bears scored the game’s firsts bucket with Gulley slashing to the bucket just 20 seconds into the contest. Emmanuel Addo made it a 4-3 Bears’ lead at the 18:01 mark with a layup in traffic.
But the defending national champs then reeled off the next 16 points over a seven-minute stretch to take a commanding 19-4 lead. By the time Gulley ended a nine-minute drought in which MSU did not score a field goal, the Cardinals were up 25-8 with just over nine minutes left in the half.
Missouri State used a 6-1 run later in the half to pull within 30-15 with five-and-a-half to go after Dorrian Williams drained a long-range 3-pointer, and Gulley scored on a couple of hustle-play put-backs.
But Coach Rick Pitinio’s squad got revved up again and reeled off 17 points in the span of just over four minutes to take its biggest lead of the half, 47-21, at the 1:09 mark. Marcus Marshall ended the half with a good note as he collected a traditional 3-point play just before the buzzer to make it a 47-24 game at the intermission.
Missouri State returns home Saturday to play Alabama A&M (3-5) in a 7:05 p.m., tilt at JQH Arena. Tickets are on sale at MissouriStateBears.com, or during regular box office hours – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, and 10 a.m. on Saturday – at the JQH Arena Box Office and by phone at (417) 836-7678.