The Missouri State Bears survived a scare from the Alabama State Hornets, winning 59-50 Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
It’s the first win of the season for Missouri State (1-1), who fell to Little Rock in the season opener on Tuesday.
The Bears took a 29-22 lead in a first half that featured three ties and four lead changes, then came out hot, getting a three pointer from Keandre Cook, who was fouled and connected from the line for a three point play and a 33-22 Bears lead.
It was one of six treys the senior from Baltimore, Maryland hit on the afternoon as Cook scored a career high 31 points on 9 of 13 shooting.
The next closest in the scoring column for Missouri State was Lamont West, who had eight, but spent much of the game in foul trouble.
Alabama State (1-1) pulled with six points on several occasions in the second half, but could never draw closer as the Bears got two big buckets from freshman Isaiah Mosley in the final three minutes to get the lead back to 12.
Kevin Holston scored 11 points to lead the Hornets.
The Bears will be back at home Tuesday for a 7:00 p.m. game against Cleveland State.
Bears Coach Dana Ford was not happy with his team’s defensive effort in the second half, nor the 20 turnovers committed by his team.
Ford addressed those topics and others in his postgame press conference:
The Bears out-rebounded Alabama State 40-27, with 29 of those boards on the defensive end.
Missouri State went 8-12 from the free throw line, as Cook went 7-7.
MSU leads the all time series against the Hornets 4-0, with the most recent meeting before Sunday coming on November 30th, 2006, an 89-49 win at Hammons Student Center.
Sunday’s announced attendance at The Q was 3,639.