Basketball Bears Continue to Roll with 101-61 Win Over UCA
SPRINGFIELD - Missouri State (6-2) broke four arena records, including total points and assists, with a 101-61 victory over Central Arkansas (2-5) at JQH Arena in non-conference action here Saturday.
MSU also extended its home-court winning streak to 13 straight games, dating back to last season, and had six players score in double figures in the contest.
Kyle Weems notched 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field with three three-pointers and six rebounds to pace the way. Adam Leonard added a season-high 16 points, while freshman Nathan Scheer posted a career-best 13. Nafis Ricks (13), Will Creekmore (12) and Caleb Patterson (12) also contributed double-digit points for the winning side.
The Bears broke the century mark for the first time since Jan. 9, 2007 against Evansville (106-54) and first time ever at JQH Arena. The club also broke the arena marks for field goal accuracy (.613), assists (22) and field goals (38).
The Bears never trailed in the game and used an 18-3 start to set the pace early against UCA's full-court press. MSU knocked down three treys over the course of 77 seconds to build the 15-point edge with 14:53 to play in the first half.
After extending the lead to 51-25 at the break, Missouri State scored 16 of the first 22 points of the second half and had a 67-31 lead on a bucket by Ricks with 14:02 left.
A pair of free throws by Scheer, who had a game-high nine assists, gave the home squad a 40-point advantage, 84-44, with 7:47 to go, and Patterson's bucket with 1:04 remaining put Missouri State over the 100-point mark. Scheer's assist total was the most by a MSU player since Chris Cooks had 10 on Dec. 20, 2008 against Norfolk State.
MSU was able to pound the ball inside consistently throughout the game, collecting 50 points in the paint, 28 points off 16 UCA turnovers and 31 points off the bench.
Weems' 20-point effort was the sixth of his career and first of the season, while Jermaine Mallett's highlight-reel dunk at the 15:42 mark of the second half was one of five dunks by MSU in the contest.
Caleb Patterson grabbed a game-high eight rebounds off the bench, while Mallett contributed seven.
Central Arkansas was 19-for-48 (.396) from the field and had four players score in double figures, including 12 off the bench by Imad Qahwash. Mark Rutledge, Chris Henson and Dewan Clayborn added 10 apiece, while the visiting Bears were 18-of-26 (.692) from the free throw line to edge the home team in free throws and attempts.
Missouri State out-rebounded UCA 35-27 on the night with 10 second-chance points from nine offensive boards.
Cuonzo Martin's team returns to action on December 11 at Oklahoma State at 7:05 p.m. before hosting Saint Louis on December 18 for a 7:05 p.m. tip. Missouri State will retire the jersey of former Bears' baseball great Ryan Howard during halftime ceremonies of the SLU game.
Tickets for the SLU game and all future Missouri State contests are available by phone at (417) 836-7678 or on-line at www.MissouriStateTix.com.