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Men's Basketball MSU Athletics Communications

MSU to Battle Air Force in MW-MVC Challenge

GAME 7 - Missouri State Bears (3-3) at Air Force (2-4)
Date and Time Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 | 8:15 p.m. (Central)
Location Clune Arena (5,843) | USAFA, Colo.
Tickets Air Force Game
Radio KTXR (101.3 FM) (Art Hains, Mike Keltner) | MSU Radio Network | Listen Live
Television Mountain West Network (Josh Howe, Keith Barnett)
Series Series Tied, 1-1 | Last Meeting - AF 83, MSU 70 (12/3/16) | BOX SCORE
Live Stats Live Stats
Game Notes Missouri State | Air Force | MVC Notebook | MSU Media Guide
Follow Facebook | Athletics Twitter | Basketball Twitter | Instagram | #MSUBears
Up Next The Bears travel to Oregon State on Saturday (Dec. 1) for a 6 p.m. (Central) tipoff.

The Ten Count
  • Missouri State continues its road swing Wednesday at Air Force in the MW-MVC Challenge. The Bears are 2-4 all-time in the Challenge, defeating Air Force in 2009 and Colorado State last season, both in Springfield. This will be the third meeting between MSU and Air Force in the Challenge and second meeting in three years.
  • Bears' senior Josh Webster (G, St. Louis, Mo.) leads the Missouri Valley Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0) and is third in the conference in assists per game (5.0).
  • Senior Jarred Dixon (G, Kansas City, Mo.) needs just 72 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 11 of his last 12 games and seven straight, dating back to last season.
  • Obediah Church (Sr., Springfield, Ill.), Missouri State's career leader in blocked shots (194), is rapidly approaching 200 rejections, a career milestone achieved by just five players in Missouri Valley Conference history.
  • The Bears have gotten to the free throw line 20 times or more in four of their first six games, a milestone the team reached just eight times all last season.
  • Ryan Kreklow (Sr., Columbia, Mo.) will be playing in his 100th career game. In 99 appearances, Kreklow has scored 612 points and dropped in 124 3-pointers. He scored a career-high 23 points against USC last Tuesday in Kansas City, making 6-of-11 3-pointers against the Trojans.
  • In the most-recent meeting between Missouri State and Air Force (Dec. 3, 2016 at USAFA), Jarred Dixon scored what was then a career-high 21 points off the bench on 9-of-11 shooting in an 83-70 loss. In that game, Ryan Kreklow scored 5 points in a start, and Obediah Church did not play.
  • Keandre Cook (Jr., Baltimore, Md.) scored 20 or more points in four straight games from Nov. 9-20, making him the first Bear since Kyle Weems (Dec. 4-22, 2010) to reach that milestone. Cook earned all-tournament honors at the Hall of Fame Classic and is the second-leading scorer among Missouri Valley Conference newcomers (16.7 ppg).
  • In his MSU debut Saturday, Tulio Da Silva (Formiga, Brazil) scored 7 points and snagged a team-high 11 rebounds in a 30-minute reserve appearance. He is the first Bear to post double-figure rebounds in his debut since Obediah Church grabbed 10 caroms at Oral Roberts on Nov. 13, 2015.
  • In six previous games in the MW-MVC Challenge, Missouri State has forced an average of 13.0 turnovers per game and held all but one foe under 43 percent shooting. Air Force shot 56.3 percent against the Bears in the 2016 Challenge..
Coach Dana Ford
  • Dana Ford (Illinois State, 2006) is 3-3 (.500) in his first season at Missouri State, including a 3-0 ledger at JQH Arena. He is now 60-68 (.469) in his fifth season as a head coach and 0-0 all-time vs. Air Force.
  • 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 Falcons have met twice previously -- both in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.
  • The first meeting at JQH Arena in Springfield saw Cuonzo Martin's Bears turn back Air Force, 58-48 on Dec. 5, 2009. Kyle Weems led Missouri State with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
  • On Dec. 3, 2016, Air Force shot 56.3 percent and avenged the previous loss, dispatching the Bears, 83-70, at USAFA, In that game, Jarred Dixon posted what was then a career-high 21 points, in a reserve role [BOX SCORE].
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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