Bears Drop Second Straight with 74-56 Setback at Bradley
PEORIA, Ill. -- The Missouri State Bears (13-5, 3-4) dropped their second straight Missouri Valley Conference game here Saturday, falling 74-56 to Bradley (8-9, 3-4) before 9,628 fans at Carver Arena.
The Bears got 17 points behind five three-pointers by junior Adam Leonard, who led all scorers, but it wasn't enough as MSU fell to 2-4 in the month of January. Kyle Weems added 10 points for Missouri State.
After Bradley led 38-23 at the half, it got a three-pointer 45 seconds into the second period by Chris Roberts to build a 41-23 advantage. After the Braves extended their lead to 61-42 at the nine-minute mark, the Bears got a layup from Ryan Jehle and back-to-back threes from Weems and Leonard to pull within 13 points of the lead, 64-51, with just 7:14 to play.
However, the Braves made 9-of-11 charity shots in the second half and shot 52.8 percent from the field for the game to secure the win.
Taylor Brown posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Bradley, while the other four BU starters were also in double figures, including 14 by post sensation Will Egolf who notched 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
The Bears defeated the Braves just a week earlier in Springfield, 88-69.
For the game, Cuonzo Martin's Bears shot 34.4 percent on 21-of-61 from the field and were outrebounded by a lopsided 43-28 margin. After going just 1-for-16 from three-point range in Tuesday's loss at Drake, Missouri State seemed to rediscover some of its outside stroke, going 7-for-19 (.368) from three-point range, with Weems scoring a pair from beyond the arc in addition to Leonard's five treys.
Missouri State returns to JQH Arena Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. to take on the Indiana State Sycamores in a regionally-televised game on FOX Sports Midwest.
In the first half, Missouri State shot just 31-percent from the field in the first half and was outrebounded 25-14.
After Leonard opened the game with a three-pointer for MSU, Bradley reeled off 14 of the games next 16 points to lead 14-5. The Bears closed the gap to 14-9 after a basket by Caleb Patterson and driving layup by Nafis Ricks at the 11:44 mark.
However, the Braves got hot again, helping them to a 51.6-percent shooting performance in the first half, as they manufactured a 10-2 run to lead 26-11 with just over eight minutes to go in the period. Leonard would drop in another trey at the 6:38 mark to pull the Bears back within 29-18, but Eddren McCain scored the last two buckets of the half for BU to give the home squad a 15-point advantage at the half.