Bears Begin Critical Home Stand Saturday vs. Sycamores
Missouri State Bears (17-6, 9-3 MVC)
JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo.
TV - BearsLive! (available through MissouriStateBears.com)
TICKET SPECIALS - All Upper-Level Tickets $7 in Non-Assessment SectionsHALL OF FAME INFORMATION
The Missouri State Bears (17-6, 9-3 MVC) begin a critical two-game home stand Saturday afternoon when they entertain the Indiana State Sycamores (12-11, 7-5) at 2:05 p.m. on Hall of Fame weekend at MSU.
The Bears are looking to avenge a one-point loss at Indiana State on Jan. 19 that saw ISU defy the odds by overcoming a two-point deficit with less than a second on the clock to steal a 70-69 win. At the time, the tough-luck defeat Missouri State’s first loss in conference play, but since then, MSU has slipped one game behind first-place Wichita State after dropping back-to-back games.
On Wednesday, the Bears used an 18-1 run early in the second half to erase a 14-point deficit at Evansville. However, MSU scored just two field goals in the final 10 minutes and matched a season high with 15 turnovers to fall to the Aces, 77-65. Kyle Weems (Jr., F, Topeka, Kan.) and Jermaine Mallett (Sr., G, Jackson, Miss.) paced the Bears with 16 points apiece with Weems collecting his ninth career double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Missouri State is also looking to get back on track at JQH Arena after another last-second foul decided the Bears’ fate in a 60-59 loss to Northern Iowa (1/30/11) that snapped a 19-game home winning streak for MSU.
Indiana State is just 1-19 in its last 20 games in Springfield and comes to town riding a four-game losing streak.
Missouri State head coach Cuonzo Martin (Purdue, 2000) is 52-38 (.578) in his third season at MSU and overall. In Missouri Valley Conference games, he is 20-28 (.417) in his tenure, including an 14-9 league record at JQH Arena (7-2 last season and 4-1 this season) and 6-19 mark in road games (5-2 this season). Martin is also 1-4 against ISU, 6-12 in February, 17-9 on Saturdays, 38-11 at JQH Arena and 11-25 on the road.
Originally from East St. Louis, Ill., he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Purdue (2000-08) where he was a standout player for coach Gene Keady from 1991-95. Martin, 39, became MSU’s 16th head basketball coach on April 1, 2008. .