The Bradley Braves tied a JQH Arena record with 17 pointers and beat the Missouri State Bears 91-78 Wednesday night.
Bradley (13-5, 4-1) hit eight treys in the first half, powering its way to a 51-35 lead when Nate Kennell hit his fifth three pointer with 58 seconds left in the half.
But Missouri State grabbed the momentum as Ford Cooper, Jr. drained a trey with 42 seconds left, and Lamont West added another with ten seconds remaining at the half, cutting the gap to 51-41 heading into the locker room.
The Bears came out hot in the second half and for awhile, it seemed every shot Missouri State put up, went in.
Senior Keandre Cook hit a three pointer at the 15:02 mark of the second half to pull the Bears within two, 54-52, then Gaige Prim knotted the score with a bucket in the paint at 14:35.
MSU wasn’t done, as Cook hit his fourth trey of the night with just under 14:00 minutes remaining, giving the Bears their first lead of the game, 57-54, capping a 22-3 run.
After the Braves knotted the score, West hit his fourth three pointer of the contest with 10:08 remaining, extending MSU’s margin to six, 63-57.
When Tulio Da Silva connected on two free throws with 9:28 left in regulation, the Bears had their largest lead of the game, 68-58.
But the Braves used the three point line to not only get back in the game, but take control of it, draining six from long distance between the 9:14 and the 3:55 mark of the second half, and turning a double digit deficit into a six point lead.
Freshman Ville Tahvanainen sparked Bradley with three of those treys in the span of just over two minutes.
By the time Kennell hit his seventh three pointer of the night, the lead was up to 11 points with just over two minutes left.
Missouri State (8-10,2-3) made 11 three pointers of its own, shooting 46% from beyond the arc.
The Braves out-rebounded the Bears 41-32, and beat MSU in points in the paint 26-24.
Kennell ‘s 25 points led all scorers for Bradley, while Cook had 22 to pace the Bears.
Bradley’s Jo’Shon Henry had a double-double, with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Both teams shot well from the free throw line, with the Bears making 19 of 23 attempts and Bradley hitting 12 of 15.
The Bears will hit the road and play at Evansville Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Missouri State drops to 9-3 against Bradley at JQH Arena.
Tyrik Dixon didn’t play in Wednesday’s game, sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Wednesday’s announced attendance at JQH Arena was 4,583.
New Bears Football Coach Bobby Petrino made a cameo at the game, sitting in the student section and talking with President Clif Smart.