The Missouri State men’s basketball team closed out the home part of its regular-season schedule with a 72-55 win against Bradley Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
Bradley was again without players Elijah Childs, Ja’Shon Henry, Danya Kingsby and Terry Nolan Jr. The four were suspended for violating team rules, according to a release from Bradley.
Bradley hung with the Bears initially, tying the game at 14 at the 12-minute mark of the first half.
MSU came out of the timeout right after Bradley tied the game and scored eight points in just over a minute off of made shots from sophomore Isiaih Mosley and junior Jared Ridder.
The Bears rode the momentum from those shots into a 39-29 lead at halftime. Mosley led the Bears with 18 points in the first half.
MSU took the reins in the second half and steadily built a 15 point lead on the way to a 72-55 victory.
Mosley finished the game with 27 points and senior Gaige Prim posted 20 points and seven rebounds.
"I thought our guys played pretty well," head coach Dana Ford said. "We took care of the basketball and defended for most parts of the game. I'm just happy with our level of concentration and focus."
After the two wins, Missouri State improves to 10-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, solidifying its third-place spot. This season was just the third time since 2007 the Bears have won 10 conference games.
With first-place Loyola Chicago and second-place Drake splitting a two-game series over the weekend, it looks like the third place spot is MSU’s to lose.
The Bears have only three games left before Arch Madness: a road game at Southern Illinois on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and two games at Evansville on Feb. 26 and 27.
"We've still got a lot to work on, but we're playing pretty good right now,” sophomore Ja'Monta Black said. "We're getting the hang of our offense, and we're connecting on defense. We just gotta go out there and play hard and try to win out."
After the SIU and Evansville games, the Bears will play in the MVC tournament with a chance to get an NCAA tournament bid on March 4-7.
Follow Stephen Terrill on Twitter, @stevethe2nd
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