Leonard Breaks MSU Three-Point Record, Bears Lead at Half
SPRINGFIELD -- Behind 11 first-half points from Adam Leonard, who broke the Missouri State single-season three-point field goal record with three in the first period, the Bears lead visiting Louisiana Tech 28-23 in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
A spirited first half saw both teams pushing the ball down the floor, but accuracy was not a strength of either club in the early going. After the Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first three minutes, they went six-and-a-half minutes without a point while the visiting Bulldogs climbed ahead 7-5.
Kyle Weems tied the game at the 10:40 mark on a pair of free throws, taking advantage of one of just two personal fouls called on La Tech in the first period. Back-to-back three-pointers by Justin Fuehrmeyer and Leonard built MSU's lead to 19-12 with six minutes to go in the period, its biggest of the half.
Leonard's record-breaker came with 21 seconds to go in the opening period to put the Bears up 28-23 at the intermission. He surpassed Blake Ahearn (2006-07) and Johnny Murdock (1992-93) who each hit 94 threes in their respective record-setting campaigns.
The Bears were 10-for-33 (.303) with four three-pointers in 17 tries (.235). The Bears made all four free throw attempts and were outrebounded 20-16.
La Tech committed 11 turnovers to the Bears' three, but made 10-of-25 (.400) shots, including 3-of-9 (.333) from the field. Olu Ashaoula has a team-high 6 points for the Bulldogs.
Leonard's 11 points leads all players, while Weems has 6 points for the Bears. Weems and Jermaine Mallett sat a good portion of the first half with two fouls.
The winner advances to Wednesday's CIT semifinals against an opponent to be determined.
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