ISU article photo

Junior Demarcus Sharp passes to a teammate. Missouri State men's basketball fell 70-50 to Loyola on Feb. 1 following their 72-46 loss on Jan. 31

The Missouri State men’s basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a two-game sweep of Illinois State on Feb. 6 and 7.

Saturday game

The first game was close nearly the entire game with 19 lead changes and nine ties. With the game close, junior guard Jared Ridder hit a three point shot to give MSU a 62-58 lead with five minutes left.

Ridder hit two more threes and the Bears hit several free throws down the stretch, walking away with a 74-67 win.

The Bears went 7-21 from three and 15-21 from the free throw line. Four Bears scored at least 14 points or more. Sophomore Isiaih Mosley scored 19, junior guard Demarcus Sharp had 15, Ridder had 15 and senior forward Gaige Prim scored 14. Prim also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Sunday game

Game two opened close, but Missouri State began to build a lead near the end of the first half, going into the break with a 42-33 lead. The Bears went 6-14 from three in the first half, nearly as many as they hit on Saturday.

Illinois State took a second-half lead after Missouri State went over seven minutes without scoring. Mosley hit a three to break the drought, and MSU went on to win 72-62. Mosley finished with 24 points, and Prim scored 16.

The win on Saturday was head coach Dana Ford's 100th win as a college head coach.

Recovery

The series was a good stretch that allowed the Bears to bounce back from the four-game losing streak it was on, according to head coach Dana Ford.

“I think both teams are in a situation where wins are very important," Ford said in a postgame radio interview. "These were some big wins for us."

With the win, the Bears move to 11-5 overall and 7-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

MSU plays next on Wednesday night at home against Southern Illinois at 7 p.m.

Follow Stephen Terrill on Twitter, @stevethe2nd

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