Bears Hold 32-29 Halftime Edge Over Hot-Shooting Aces
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State has outrebounded visiting Evansville by a 22-16 margin, including 13 offensive boards, helping the Bears score 14 second-chance points en route to a 32-29 halftime lead over the Purple Aces in Missouri Valley Conference play.
The Bears have not trailed, but have fought off several runs by Evansville. After leading 17-11 at the 9:15 mark on a basketball by Will Creekmore, the Aces answered with a three-pointer by Denver Holmes to keep things close. Later in the half, Jermaine Mallett knocked down his second trey of the half, helping the Bears to a 24-16 advantage with just over seven minutes left in the half. But, once again coach Marty Simmons' squad retaliated, closing out the next five minutes with a 13-6 run to pull within 30-29. Justin Fuehrmeyer scored with 31 seconds left in the opening period to extend Missouri State's advantage to 32-29 at the intermission.
Mallett has nine points to lead the Bears, while Creekmore has scored 8. Caleb Patterson has contributed five points off the bench, while Kyle Weems has four points and a game-high five rebounds for MSU which shot 37.8 (14-of-37) from the field in the first half, including 3-of-12 (.250) from three-point range.
Evansville was led by Clint Hopf's 10 points and 4 rebounds. The Purple Aces shot 48-percent (12-of-25) and made 2-of-5 (.400) from beyond the arc.