The Missouri State Bears dominated the Southern Illinois Salukis, winning 84-59 Saturday afternoon at JQH Arena.
The win gives the Bears a #6 seed in next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis.
Missouri State (15-16, 9-9), finished tied in the conference race with Valparaiso at 9-9 in the conference race, but has a better NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) ranking, and will play #3 Indiana State at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Enterprise Center.
Southern Illinois got a three pointer from Eric McGill at the 18:41 mark of the first half, to lead 3-2.
The Salukis’ advantage lasted all but 34 seconds, as senior Kabir Mohammed, in the starting lineup after missing six straight games with a foot injury and then bronchitis, hit a shot in the paint to give MSU a one point lead that started a 9-2 run.
The Bears would never trail again.
Mohammed scored 15 points on Senior Day at The Q to lead the Bears.
Gaige Prim added 14 points, seniors Keandre Cook and Tulio Da Silva scored 13 points each, and fellow senior Lamont West added 11.
And perhaps the biggest spark of the Bears recent success, senior Ross Owens, hit a trio of treys to finish with nine points.
Lance Jones scored 28 points to lead Southern Illinois (16-15, 10-8).
Missouri State’s five seniors spoke to the media after the win:
Missouri State committed 24 turnovers, while SIU had 23.
MSU out-rebounded the Salukis 37-20.
The Bears finish the regular season 15-16. Last year’s squad went 16-15 before losing its first game in the Valley tournament to finish at .500.
MSU is now 24-16 all time at home against the Salukis, including an 8-4 mark at JQH Arena.
During the team’s Division I era, the Bears are 32-6 on Senior Night.
The Bears finish 11-4 at JQH Arena.
Saturday’s announced attendance at The Q was 3,887.