| Postgame Press Conference
SPRINGFIELD – Seniors Jarrid Rhodes
and J.T. Miller
scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, while junior Jarred Dixon
pitched in 12 more to help Missouri State to an 83-56 exhibition victory over Southwest Baptist here Wednesday.
Coach Paul Lusk
's Bears shot 51 percent from the field and committed just seven turnovers in a fast-paced effort by the Missouri Valley preseason favorites.
Rhodes was 6-of-8 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers and a game-high 6 rebounds. Dixon and Miller both made 5-of-8 shots with Miller matching Rhodes on the glass with 6 caroms.
The Bears sprinted out to a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes, 14 seconds of the game with Rhodes pouring in three field goals in that span.
SBU fought back to tie the game four minutes later on a layup by Karim Mouliom and pulled ahead twice before the midway point in the opening half on buckets by Logan Hovey.
Hovey's triple at the 10:55 mark gave the Bearcats an 18-16 lead. He finished with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The home side used a 13-4 run over the next three minutes to retake the lead for good. Three-pointers by Ryan Kreklow
and Rhodes paced the outburst, while Obediah Church
flushed home the first of eight MSU dunks on the night.
Dixon led a personal 6-0 run to push Missouri State ahead by double figures for the first time with 5:51 left in the first stanza. His steal and dunk made it a 35-25 game with just under six minutes remaining before the break.
Dixon closed out the half with another break-away dunk, and Abdul Fofana
scored on a tip-in just before the buzzer to make it 45-32 at the midway point.
In the second half, MSU held the Bearcats to just one field goal in the first eight minutes to build a 25-point lead. A 13-1 run in the span of four minutes sparked the flurry, giving the home club a 63-38 lead with 12:33 remaining.
Lusk cleared the bench shortly thereafter, and MSU cruised to the finish line for a 27-point victory.
Eleven Missouri State players finished in the scoring column with the Bears combining to make 32-of-63 from the field and 5-of-12 (.417) from bonus range. The Bears converted just 14-of-27 (.519) at the foul line, but out-rebounded SBU by a 41-37 margin.
MSU collected nine steals – by seven different players – and forced 17 SBU turnovers in all.
The Bearcats, who dropped in eight 3-pointers on the night, also got 11 points from Cartier Dean.
Missouri State will begin regular-season play on Nov. 10 at Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. with the home opener set for Nov. 15 against Southern University at JQH Arena.