Dec. 17, 2011
SPRINGFIELD - Missouri State shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and got 10 points from Kyle Weems to lead a balanced scoring column as the Bears hold a 40-22 halftime lead over visiting Kennesaw State in the first round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas classic here.
MSU will play a pair of home games in the event before moving on to the Las Vegas portion of the tournament Thursday and Friday.
The Bears took control early in the game, going ahead 7-5 on a layup by Corey Copeland at the 15-minute mark, but the visiting Owls reeled off eight straight points capped by a Delbert Love three-pointer to put MSU on its heels, 13-7.
But Missouri State then reeled off the game's next 17 points and were never threatened again the rest of the half.
Kennesaw State, which will play five games in a 10-day span, broke the scoreless streak with a Markeith Cummings trey at the 5:46 mark that made it a 24-16 contest. Anthony Downing then scored MSU's next nine points, and Weems closed out the half with five straight points to make it an 18-point contest at the break.
MSU was 15-for-29 (.517) from the field and 5-of-13 (.385) from long range, including two treys apiece by Weems and Michael Bizoukas. The Bears made all five of their charity shots and out-rebounded the Owls by a 21-13 margin. Eight Missouri State players were in the first-half scoring column, and the home club committed just three turnovers.
Kennesaw State was led by Cummings with 9 points, while the Owls shot 7-for-26 (.269) from the field and 3-of-12 (.250) from long distance. KSU was also 5-of-7 (.714) at the charity stripe and committed four turnovers.
MSU continues the tournament with a 7:05 p.m. home game Monday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.