By: Rick Kindhart
SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State got 27 points from Isiaih Mosley and 20 more from Gaige Prim to help push the Bears (14-5, 10-5 MVC) past visiting Bradley, 72-57, here Sunday.
The win completed a two-game sweep of the weekend series by MSU, which snagged its 10th Missouri Valley Conference win for just third time since 2007.
Bradley (11-13, 5-10) was led by Rienk Mast who posted 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Bears were impressive on the glass all afternoon, out-rebounding the Braves by a 36-26 margin and allowing BU just four offensive caroms for the game. Bradley tallied just two second-chance points with five different Bears registering four defensive boards to limit the visitors’ chances.
There were five ties and eight lead changes in the first half, but Mosley helped ignite Bears runs of 13-0 and 10-0 to give MSU a 39-29 lead at the midway point. The league’s top scorer posted his best opening half of the season with 18 points behind four triples.
Mosley and company picked up the pace in the second half, using a 12-5 run over a five-minute stretch to build their lead to 54-38. Four different MSU players scored in that key stretch, including 6 points by Prim and a great run-out layup by Ja’Monta Black.
Playing without four suspended players for the second day in a row, Bradley made a run midway through the final period. A 3-pointer from Kevin McAdoo and a pair of free throws by Mast made it 54-43 at the 10:55 mark.
But Missouri State then turned to Mosley who buried a pair of jumpers and his fifth 3-pointer of the game to help build MSU’s lead to 66-47 just four minutes later to match the biggest lead of the night. Mosley tied a JQH Arena record by going 5-for-5 from 3-point range, contributing to his 10-for-16 day from the field with 4 rebounds.
The Bears, who were 11-of-27 (.407) from long range, also got four triples from Black who finished with 14 points and 4 boards.
Demarcus Sharp dished out a career-high 8 assists in the win, while Prim carried the load down low, finishing 9-of-12 from the field with a team-best 8 rebounds.
The Bears finished 28-of-58 (.483) from the field and 5-of-8 (.625) at the line with just 10 turnovers and 9 steals.
Bradley, which also got 13 points apiece from McAdoo and Sean East, shot 21-of-52 (.404) overall, 8-for-25 (.320) from three, and 7-of-8 (.875) at the line with 10 turns.
With just three games remaining on The Valley slate, the Bears return to league play Wednesday evening with an 8:15 p.m. start at Southern Illinois before wrapping up the regular season at Evansville, Feb. 26-27.