Josh Webster

Men's Basketball MSU Athletics Communications

Bears Begin Road Swing at Murray State

GAME 6 - Missouri State Bears (3-2) at Murray State (2-0)
Date and Time Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
Location CFSB Center (8,600) | Murray, Ky.
Tickets Murray State Game
Radio KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner) | MSU Radio Network | Listen Live
Television ESPN+ (Neal Bradley, Kenny Roth)
Series Series Tied, 2-2 | Last Meeting - Murray St. 66, Missouri State 63 (3/19/14) | BOX SCORE
Live Stats Live Stats
Game Notes Missouri State | Murray State | MVC Notebook | MSU Media Guide
Follow Facebook | Athletics Twitter | Basketball Twitter | Instagram | #MSUBears
Up Next The Bears travel to Air Force on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as part of the MW-MVC Challenge series.

The Ten Count
  • Missouri State opens a three-game road swing Saturday at unbeaten Murray State. The Racers (2-0) are the defending Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tournament champions and were picked second in the OVC preseason poll, behind Belmont. Coach Matt McMahon's team has two preseason All-OVC picks in Shaq Buchanan and Ja Morant.
  • Tulio Da Silva (F, 6-8, 211, Jr., Formiga, Brazil), a transfer from USF, was declared eligible by the NCAA on Nov. 21 and is expected to make his Missouri State debut Saturday. He played in 19 games for South Florida last season and averaged 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds. As a redshirt freshman in 2016-17, he was second on the USF club in scoring (9.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) in 30 games. He also broke the Bulls' freshman rebounding record (203) in 2016-17.
  • MSU newcomer Keandre Cook (Jr., Baltimore, Md.) has scored 20 or more points in four straight games, making him the first Bear since Kyle Weems (Dec. 4-22, 2010) to reach that milestone. The last MSU player to score 20 or more points in five consecutive games was Johnny Murdock -- Jan. 30 to Feb. 11, 1995.
  • Senior Jarred Dixon (Kansas City, Mo.) needs just 90 points to reach 1,000 for his career. MSU has had 28 1,000-point scorers in its proud history, but none since Kyle Weems reached the milestone in 2011. Dixon has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games and six straight, dating back to last season.
  • Obediah Church (Sr., Springfield, Ill.), Missouri State's career leader in blocked shots (192), is rapidly approaching 200 rejections, a career milestone achieved by just five players in MVC history.
  • Bears' head coach Dana Ford is 1-3 all-time against Murray State from his time in the OVC. His Tennessee State club defeated the Racers, 73-71, in Nashville on Jan. 16, 2016 when Tahjere McCall hit a layup with 2.5 seconds left.
  • Only 3 teams in all of Division I basketball -- Chattanooga (1), UNC Asheville (2) and Drake (2) -- have fewer returning
    lettermen than Missouri State's three: Jarred Dixon, Obediah Church and Ryan Kreklow. Likewise, MSU's 11 roster newcomers (including redshirts) is third in the nation next to 12 apiece by Seattle and Florida Atlantic.
  • Ryan Kreklow (Sr., Columbia, Mo.) is coming off a career-high 23 points against USC on Tuesday, making 6-of-11 3-pointers against the Trojans. In two career games vs. USC Kreklow scored 35 points and hit 10 triples, all off the bench.   
  • Missouri State was on both ends of the scoring spectrum against USC on Tuesday, posting its lowest (27) and highest (53) scoring halves of the season. The Bears' second-half total was their most in a half against a Division I foe since posting 55 against IUPUI in the second half on Dec. 10, 2015.
  • This will be Missouri State's first of at least 10 Saturday games this season, including five at JQH Arena in Springfield.  .
Coach Dana Ford
  • Dana Ford (Illinois State, 2006) is 3-2 (.600) in his first season at Missouri State, including a 3-0 ledger at JQH Arena. He is now 60-67 (.472) in his fifth season as a head coach and 1-3 all-time vs. Murray State.
  • He is the fifth-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I basketball this season (see sidebar).
  • TheAthletic.com named Bears' head coach Dana Ford to its list of 30 "up and coming coaches to keep an eye on" during its 2018-19 preseason basketball coverage.
  • He was introduced as Missouri State's 18th men's basketball coach on March 22, 2018 after coaching the previous four seasons at Tennessee State. The native of Tamms, Illinois was 57-65 (.467) at Tennessee State, including a 52-39 ledger in his last three seasons in Nashville.  
  • Ford, 34, was awarded the Ben Jobe Award in 2016 as the nation's top Division I minority coach. That same year, he was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year and NABC District 19 Coach of the Year after engineering one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history, swaying Tennessee State from a 5-26 record in his first season to a 20-11 mark in 2015-16.
  • He coached five All-OVC players in addition to two players recognized on the OVC All-Newcomer Team. Under his leadership, Tennessee State also doubled its home attendance average and twice earned votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll during the 2016-17 season. He has served as an assistant at Tennessee State, Wichita State and Illinois State and was responsible for recruiting future NBA talents such as Robert Covington (Timberwolves) and Fred Van Vleet (Raptors).
Series History
  • The Bears and Racers have met four times previously -- all in the postseason -- with the series tied, 2-2.
  • The clubs met twice in the NAIA national playoffs with Murray State winning an opening-round game in 1943, and the Bears returning the favor in the 1952 national championship game.
  • More recently, Missouri State defeated Murray State, 89-76 in the first round of the NIT at JQH Arena on March 15, 2011. The Racers avenged the loss in the second round of the 2014 CIT, defeating MSU by a 66-63 count, also at JQH Arena, on March 19, 2014 [BOX SCORE]
  • The clubs have never played each other in Murray.
Rebound Foundation
  • Bears' head coach Dana Ford and his wife, Christina, are founders of the Rebound Foundation. The not-for-profit raises funds and awareness to help renew and restore women who have experienced a life of domestic abuse. The foundation provides a stable home and fresh start to abuse victims and their children. The Rebound Foundation currently provides homes in Springfield, Mo., and Chicago, Ill.  Rebound Foundation Website.
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