Bears' Balanced Attack, Strong Defense Lead to 38-22 Halftime Advantage
Nov. 21, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - After a slow offensive start, the Missouri State Bears heated up behind a balanced attack to build a 38-22 halftime lead over visiting Malone Wednesday night at JQH Arena. The Bears held the Pioneers without a field goal over the first 10 minutes of the game, while the MSU offense converted on 10-of-16 shots from the field over a nine-minute span to take control of the contest with a 20-4 scoring run.
Led by Christian Kirk's nine points, the Bears finished the half 16-of-33 (.485) from the field, while holding the Pioneers to just 8-of-26 (.308) shooting. Anthony Downing added eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from three-point range, and Drew Wilson chipped in with six points.
After misfiring on their first five field goal attempts of the night, the Bears got on the board courtesy of a Marcus Marshall 3-pointer at the 17:26 mark for a 3-1 MSU lead. That would kick off a hot streak for the Bears that would see them ultimately build a 20-5 advantage with just under eight minutes to play in the half. Kirk would come off the bench to tally three straight points for the Bears before a Wilson dunk and five unanswered points by Downing capped the scoring spurt.
Malone, which missed its first 11 attempts from the floor before getting a Zach Bates lay-in at the 9:44 mark, rallied to knock down 6-of-9 shots to trim the Bears' advantage to 27-18 with just over four minutes left on the clock.
But Kirk and Downing teamed up to tally the next nine points to hand the Bears their largest lead of the night.
The Bears inflicted a good deal of damage on the interior, controlling the glass to the tune of a 23-17 rebounding advantage, while out-scoring the Pioneers by a 24-12 margin in the paint.