by Missouri State Athletics
Missouri State got 22 points from Tulio Da Silva to lead four players in double figures here Saturday in a 93-72 victory over visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Bears (5-7) also got 18 points from Ryan Kreklow, 17 from Keandre Cook and 10 from Jarred Dixon, who eclipsed 1,000 points in his 108th career game. Josh Webster also pitched in 15 assists with no turnovers for MSU.
UAPB (3-9) was led by Shaun Doss’ game-high 23 points, while Martaveious McKnight scored 16.
MSU, which improved to 5-0 at home this season, used a 21-5 run over a six-minute stretch early in the game to break a 10-10 tie and gain separation. The Bears ended the first half on another run led by last-minute 3-pointers from Cook and Jared Ridder to go into the intermission leading 54-32.
Another key stretch came four minutes into the second half when Jan Wojcik started a 15-3 run for the Bears. During the stretch, MSU earned eight points from the foul line, but also got key buckets from Kabir Mohammed, Dixon and Da Silva. At the end of the outburst, the home side led by its biggest margin of the game, 76-46, with 11 minutes to go.
A free throw by Dixon with 6:01 to play gave him his 1,000th career point. He became the 29th Missouri State player to eclipse that milestone and first since Kyle Weems in 2011. Dixon also hit another couple of milestones on the afternoon, scoring his 500th point at JQH Arena and collecting his 100th career steal.
Da Silva finished 8-of-9 from the field with four dunks, including a reverse alley-oop from Webster with just over two minutes to play. Cook was also hot from the field, scoring 7-of-9 shots with a pair of threes, while Kreklow finished 5-of-8 – all from long distance.
Coach Dana Ford’s squad forced 20 UAPB turnovers on the game behind a dozen steals and turned the ball over just eight times themselves.
Webster’s 15 assists matched the most by any Missouri State player during the team’s Division I era and tied for the third-most in program history. Doug Lewis distributed 15 scoring passes against Texas Wesleyan on Dec. 3, 1988 as the only other Bear to tally that many assists since 1982.
MSU finished 28-of-53 (.528) from the field and 10-of-27 (.370) from bonus distance while converting 27-of-36 (.750) at the line. Despite being without the services of Obediah Church, the team’s leading shot blocker, Missouri State finished with five rejections, including two by Da Silva.
The Golden Lions were 27-of-52 (.519) from the field and 9-of-20 (.450) from long range. UAPB also out-rebounded the Bears by a 29-27 margin and made 9-of-16 (.563) at the foul line.
After a short holiday break, the Bears return to JQH Arena on Sunday, Dec. 30 to take on William Woods at 5 p.m. All general admission bleacher tickets are $5, and game-day tickets in sections E, J, O and P are just $15. Likewise, any ticket holders for the MSU women’s game early that day can remain in the bleachers for the men’s game at no additional charge.