Oct. 19, 2013
SPRINGFIELD -- Homecoming weekend at Missouri State University got off to a great start Friday night at Hammons Student Center as the basketball Bears and Lady Bears entertained fans with the annual Twilight Tipoff event.
The Lady Bears started the event as Karly Buer (Sr., Concordia, Kan.), Desiree Phillips (Sr., Memphis, Tenn.), Hannah Wilkerson (Sr., Miller, Mo.) and Kenzie Williams (So., Mt. Vernon, Mo.) paired up with fans for the 3-point shootout, with Team Buer and Team Williams winning the first round and Williams topping Buer in the final, 6-4.
The Lady Bears' 10-minute scrimmage was a defensive battle with the Maroon team prevailing over the Gray team, 11-8. Wilkerson and Williams led in scoring with four points apiece. Sisters Bry Snow (Sr., Blue Springs, Mo.) and Tyonna Snow (So., Blue Springs, Mo.) each buried 3-pointers, Buer hit three free throws and Phillips hit a jumper to round out the scoring. Wilkerson blocked a Phillips trey at the buzzer to preserve the Maroon victory.
On the men's side, freshman Devon Thomas (G, Silver Spring, Md.) took top honors in the pre-scrimmage dunk contest, dispatching junior Christian Kirk (Jr., Springfield, Mo.) in the finals after the tandem outscored Keith Pickens (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) and Tyler McCullough (Fr., Fayetteville, Ark.) in the semifinals.
Paul Lusk's Bears then split teams for three, 10-minute intrasquad scrimmages.
The first game saw the Maroon squad top the Gray club 19-9 with Jarmar Gulley (Sr., Beaumont, Texas) scoring 5 points for the winning side, while Emmanuel Addo (Sr., Toronto, Canada) dropped in 5 points for the Gray. The Maroon club knocked down three 3-pointers in the winning effort while holding Gray without a field goal aside from Addo's two makes.
The players mixed teams and regrouped for the second scrimmage with Maroon inching out a 25-19 win behind an 11-point outburst from freshman Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.). McCullough also contributed 7 points in the winning effort, while Gulley led the Gray side with 7 points.
Lusk then grabbed the microphone and told the crowd on hand at Hammons Student Center that he wanted to see more, and asked that the clock operator put 10 more minutes up. The third game proved to be the best yet with Maroon finishing the clean sweep with an 18-17 victory. Ruder had 5 points for the winning side, while Kirk added 4 for the victors. Gulley scored 8 for the Gray.
Gulley (20) and Ruder (19) led the combined scoring efforts for the Bears, while Kirk dropped in 11. McCullough and Pickens finished with 9 points each.
The Bears open a two-game exhibition schedule on Oct. 27 against McKendree, starting at 3:05 p.m., at JQH Arena, while the Lady Bears start things off on Halloween night with a 7:05 p.m. exhibition against Arkansas-Fort Smith at The Q. Tickets are available during regular box office hours at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena, by phone at (417) 836-7678 or on-line at MissouriStateBears.com.