The Missouri State Bears have put an end to a three game losing streak with an 80-60 win over the Illinois State Redbirds Wednesday night at JQH Arena.
Illinois State hit a three pointer just under a minute into the contest to grab a 3-1 lead, but 20 seconds later, Ja’Monta Black answered with a trey for Missouri State, putting the Bears ahead 4-3.
MSU would never relinquish the lead, going up 42-26 at the half and dominating in the second half, using Tulio Da Silva and Gaige Prim to hammer the ball inside, outscoring Illinois State 54-18 in the paint.
Silva scored a season high 22 points on 10-13 shooting to lead Missouri State (11-13, 5-6).
Keandre Cook added 18 for the Bears, hitting a pair of three pointers.
MSU hit 6 of 27 attempts from beyond the arc, while the Redbirds went 7-19.
Bears Coach Dana Ford addressed the media after his team’s win:
Antonio Reeves led Illinois State (7-16, 2-9) with 17 points, with Jaycee Hillsman adding 16.
The Bears will travel to Southern Illinois to take on the Salukis Saturday night at 7:00.
Missouri State got to the free throw line for only four attempts. MSU’s two free throws made represent a season low.
Ross Owens got his first start of his college career Wednesday after playing a career high 26 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Indiana State.
Prim has scored ten or more points in 16 of 19 game appearances this season.
Illinois State leads the all time series against the Bears 44-32.
Wednesday’s announced attendance at JQH Arena was 2,991.