March 7, 2013
ST. LOUIS – Anthony Downing scored the last seven points of the first half for Missouri State, who used a 20-7 run to take a 32-22 lead over Southern Illinois into halftime here Thursday at the Scottrade Center.
Downing finished the half leading all scorers with 10 points. Marcus Marshall scored eight with a pair of assists, while Christian Kirk shined with six points and seven rebounds.
After trailing by as many as five points early on, the Bears created some separation about midway through the first half. A jumper by Keith Pickens with 7:34 left in the stanza got things started before a quick left-side jumper by Marshall gave Missouri State the lead at 16-15.
From there, the Bears built a 25-17 lead before Downing took over with three field goals and a free throw to give MSU its halftime advantage.
The two teams went scoreless for nearly three minutes starting at the 15:14 mark in the first half, but a breakaway dunk by SIU’s Desmar Jackson with 11:41 left and a one-handed floater by Downing 18 seconds later broke the drought, making it 13-10 Salukis with 10:40 to play.
A pair of short jumpers by Kirk and Pickens helped draw Missouri State to within a point, 15-14, with 7:18 to play in the first stanza.
After Missouri State gained an early 5-2 advantage thanks to a bucket from Kirk and a 3-pointer at the top of the key from Marshall, Southern Illinois went on a 9-3 run from that point to go up 11-8 at the first media timeout.
The Bears shot 52.2 percent in the half (12-for-23) and picked up 16 rebounds.