by Missouri State Athletics
Missouri State got a game-high 21 points from Tulio Da Silva and forced 22 Indiana State turnovers to snag the Bears’ first road win of the season here Tuesday, 72-57.
Jarred Dixon added 16 points for MSU (7-9, 1-2 MVC), while Keandre Cook posted 13 points in his return to the starting lineup.
Indiana State was led by Tyreke Key’s 14 points, while the league’s top scorer, Jordan Barnes, was held to 10 points on an 18.8 scoring average. Barnes was 4-of-16 from the field.
With the game in the balance in the final four minutes, the Bears extended a five-point lead into a 15-point win thanks to lock-down defense. MSU forced ISU into six misses on its last seven attempts down the stretch with Key’s layup at the one-minute mark serving as the only blemish on a solid clutch defensive effort.
Missouri State snagged a season-high 14 steals and shot a 51.9 percent clip from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range while out-rebounding the Sycamores (9-6, 1-2) by a 34-29 margin.
Dixon tallied a career-high five steals in the win.
Indiana State shot 41.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
After falling behind 12-6 early in the game, a Da Silva-led rally pulled the Bears even, 16-16. A triple from the right wing by Jared Ridder knotted the score with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.
The final nine minutes of the opening half belonged to the visitors. Missouri State reeled off 13 unanswered points over a key five-minute stretch to lead by 11 points twice. Dixon had six points during the run with Ridder dropping in another long three. Da Silva’s layup with 5:20 remaining before the intermission made it a 31-20 contest.
The Sycamores, who turned the ball over 12 times in the first 20 minutes, dropped in a couple of long-range buckets just before the intermission to get with 37-28 at the midway point.
Indiana State cut its halftime deficit to 41-37 just two minutes into the second half, but the Bears quickly called timeout and regrouped, setting up a three ball from Dixon moments later to restore order.
The Sycamores pulled even at the 13:38 mark thanks to a 7-0 run that included a three by Barnes. But once again, the Bears answered as Kreklow ripped to the basket, and Ridder nailed a catch-and-shoot jumper as part of a 9-0 run by the visitors.
Indiana State never got closer than 60-55 the rest of the evening, and the Bears won their sixth straight in the series.
After a trip to Bradley on Saturday evening, 7 p.m., the Bears return to JQH Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 16 to play Evansville at 7 p.m.