Five Bears Score in Double Figures to Secure 73-46 Exhibition Win
SPRINGFIELD -- Five Missouri State players scored in double figures, and the Bears forced 24 turnovers to defeat Upper Iowa, 73-46, in the exhibition opener for both squads Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
Jermaine Mallett and newcomer Nathan Scheer each scored a game-high 12 points to lead Missouri State. Will Creekmore added 11, and Kyle Weems joined Caleb Patterson with 10 points apiece.
The Bears earned the win with a 25-4 run to end the first half. The visiting Peacocks kept things close until the 7:06 mark of the first half when a traditional three-point play by Patterson broke an 18-18 tie. Aaron Cooper and Mallett each knocked down three-pointers in the final six minutes of the opening half, and the Bears took a 43-22 lead into the intermission.
The second half saw the Bears use a lot of lineup combinations and maintain a healthy lead. Freshmen Scheer, Cooper, Nick Valla and Corey Copeland each played at least 18 minutes in the game, and no player saw more than 24 minutes of action.
Missouri State held UIU to just four field goals in the final 20 minutes, but the visitors shot 21 free throws to stay close. A 7-0 run by the Peacocks three minutes into the final half made it a 49-34 game on a three-pointer by Trevor Hook. But, the Bears responded with a 7-0 run of their own, including a trey by Patterson.
UIU was led by Jake Hughes with 11 points, including a 9-for-10 effort at the free throw line.
Missouri State finished with a 40.7-percent shooting effort from the field and seven three-pointers. The teams combined for 54 fouls and 65 free throw attempts. The Bears were 22-of-30 at the line (.733).
Valla started in place of Adam Leonard, who sat out for precautionary reasons after sustaining an injury in practice earlier in the week.
Cuonzo Martin's team will wrap its preseason Saturday at 4 p.m. against Arkansas-Fort Smith. Tickets for the game, as well as a wide variety of season ticket packages, are available by calling (417) 836-7678.