MARCH MADNESS: Bears Claw Pass Bluejays

Bears vs. Bluejays

photo: Craig Phelps

By Craig Phelps

Staff Writer

St. Louis, MO- The Missouri State Bears (19-13 [10-8]) must like living life on the edge, because their last two wins have been close ones.  The first seed in the MVC Tournament squeezed their way past the fifth seeded Creighton Blue Jays (19-14 [10-9]) in a 60-50 victory.

While Missouri State didn’t wait until the final 1.8 seconds of the game to pull out a victory like they did on Friday against SIU, it was still a game that was too close for comfort at times.

“I’m used to it by now,” joked the Bears Kyle Weems, who had 15 points.  “I’m just happy with how we responded being down five (points) at the half.  We just stayed composed.”

Missouri State shot an ice cold 30.3 percent from the field and they were only one of eight from beyond the arc.  The strange thing about the first half is that the Bears did not struggle defensively.  While Creighton shot 48 percent from the field in the first half, they also turned the ball over five times.

The Bears trailed 30-25 at the half.

Something changed in the game’s last twenty minutes.  Missouri State found a way to turn up the pressure defensively, forcing seven more turnovers and dropping the Bluejays’ shooting percentage down to a cold 29.2 percent.

The Bears’ decision making also improved in the second half.  Kyle Weems and Jermaine Mallett made their only three ball shots of the second half while Adam Leonard missed his two deep chances.

Missouri State advances to play the winner of the Wichita State and Indiana State game.  The game will be at 1pm on CBS.