The Missouri State Bears set a JQH Arena scoring record and broke a team record for three pointers in a 110-56 win over William Woods University Sunday evening.

The Bears knocked down 17 treys, two more than the previous mark for a single game, and scored their most points since 2004 as seven players finished in double-figure scoring.

MSU narrowly missed an arena record (60) for points in a half when the Bears failed to connect on a pair of three pointers in the final minute of the first half, taking a 59-25 lead into the locker room.

But Coach Dana Ford’s squad came off an eight-day holiday break sluggish, falling behind the Owls 8-5 three minutes into the contest.

“We’re building a foundation here, and a huge part of that foundation is ‘respect your opponent,” Ford said. “That’s what we talked about in the locker room after the game, was the first four minutes of the game and the first four minutes of the second half, we didn’t come out ready. We did not respect our opponent. I don’t think we’ll have that problem again the rest of the year.”

But the Bears didn’t stay sluggish for long, going on a 19-0 run to turn that 8-5 deficit into a 24-8 lead, thanks to some hot shooting from beyond the arc by Josh Webster, Jarred Dixon, Ryan Kreklow, and Szymon Wojcik.

During that run, Keandre Cook got a slam dunk for his only points of the game, playing just eight minutes before leaving with stomach problems caused by a previous injury to his back.

When Dixon connected on his third trey of the half at the 5:45 mark, it gave the Bears a 30 point lead, 47-17.

Junior Ross Owens got in on the act, draining his first of three pointers with 4:41 left in the half to put the Bears up 53-20.

The Bears continued to dominate the NAIA school out of Fulton, Missouri in the second half as Ridder hit a three pointer just a minute into the frame to extend the lead to 37 points.

When Kreklow hit his third trey of the game with 7:42 left in regulation, it broke MSU’s school record of 15.

The Bears hit the 100 point plateau for the 41st time in school history with 6:03 remaining when Wojcik drained a three pointer, was fouled and hit a free throw to make it 103-51.

Wojcik led MSU in scoring with 16 points, followed by Owens with 15, Tulio Da Silva, Kabir Mohammed and Kreklow with 13 each, Dixon with 11, and Ridder with ten points.

Kreklow says Ford has been putting an emphasis on shooting more three’s. “Coach is just always talking about getting the three’s up,” Kreklow said.  “We’re a good three point shooting team, so why not?”

Kreklow says the Bears used Sunday’s game to work on some things heading into the conference opener Wednesday. “Just getting our confidence up, letting it fly, playing fast, playing loose. All that stuff is important to being our best.”

David Johnson paced the Owls with 19 points, with Aaron Brookins adding 17.

The Bears out-rebounded William Woods 56-34 and shot 52% from the floor.

Missouri State improves to 6-8, while the Owls drop  to 6-5.

The Bears begin Missouri Valley Conference play Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. with a game at Southern Illinois.

Game Notes: 

The 110 points scored are the most for Missouri State since a 110-63 thrashing of Troy University at Hammons Center on December 11th, 2004.

The Bears shattered the JQH Arena record for points scored in a game, breaking the old mark of 101 set by the Bears against Central Arkansas on December 4th, 2010.

MSU’s 38 attempts from the three point line tie a school record.

The 56 rebounds are also a record at The Q.  The previous mark was 52, set on three occasions, including a game against William Woods on November 27th, 2015.

Sunday’s announced attendance at JQH Arena was 3,174.

Missouri State senior Obediah Church, who has not been practicing or playing with the team, was spotted in the stands. His status with the team remains unclear, although Ford says his next comment will “be a statement.”

 

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