Bears Begin February Slate with Visit from Valpo

Game 23 – Missouri State Bears (11-11, 7-5 MVC) vs. Valparaiso Beacons (10-13, 4-8 MVC) 
Date and Time Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023 | 7:02 p.m. (Central)
Location Great Southern Bank Arena (11,000) | Springfield, Missouri
Tickets Tickets | (417) 836-7678 | Great Southern Bank Arena Box Office
Promotions &
Harry Potter Night (Glasses Giveaway) | Diaper Crawl | Wear White | Season Promos
3-for-15 Ticket Special
Fan Info Digital Game Program | Gates open at 6:00 p.m.
Radio KWTO (FM 93.3 / AM 560) (Corey Riggs, Mike Keltner) | MSU Radio Network | Listen Live
Varsity Network App
Television ESPN+ (Mike McClure, Don West) | Watch 
Series Missouri State Leads 25-10 | Last Meeting: MSU 67, Valpo 58 (3/4/22) | Box Score
Live Stats Live Stats
Game Notes Missouri State | Valparaiso | MVC Weekly Notebook | MSU Media Guide
Follow Facebook | Athletics Twitter | Basketball Twitter | Instagram | #MSUBears | #BearsUnite
Bears Mobile App App Store (Apple Devices) | Google Play Store (Android Devices)
Up Next MSU travels to Southern Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 5 | 1 p.m. | Tickets

Missouri State University is committed to providing an accessible and supportive environment for those with disabilities. To request reasonable disability accommodations, contact the Deputy Compliance Officer at (417) 836-6755 or 

The Ten Count

  • Missouri State returns to Great Southern Bank Arena on Wednesday when the Bears host long-time rival Valparaiso at 7 p.m. The Bears look to start the month of February on the right foot against a Beacons team that has won 4 of its last 5 Valley contests. The game will feature the Diaper Dash baby crawl at halftime, and fans are encouraged to wear white. 
  • Missouri State has won 5 of its its last 6 home games and would secure its 52nd straight winning record at home with a victory on Wednesday. The Bears are 7-3 at home this season and have been over .500 at home every season since 1971-72, encompassing three different home venues.
  • The Bears and Beacons have played at Arch Madness three straight years with MoState ending Valpo’s season in the quarterfinals in both 2021 and 2022.
  • Over the last 4 games, Alston Mason (So., Overland Park, Kan.) is averaging a team-best 15.8 points in addition to 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists with a 41.3 FG percentage (19-of-46) and 90.9 FT percentage (20-for-22). 
  • During his tenure at Missouri State, head coach Dana Ford is 23-11 in the month of February, including a 13-4 record at Great Southern Bank Arena. The Bears were 6-2 in February last season, which catapulted them to the No. 2 seed at Arch Madness. MoState begins the month of February just 2 games out of first place and 1 game out of third place.
  • Over the last 3 games, Jonathan Mogbo (Jr., West Palm Beach, Fla.) is averaging 12.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game with a 66.7 FG percentage (16-of-24). He is coming off his 3rd double-double in 6 games with 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds at Murray State on Saturday.
  • Mogbo has also racked up 10 dunks over the last 4 games, giving him 24 flushes on the season, which ranks No. 6 on Missouri State’s single-season dunk chart. He is 4 dunks away from Tulio Da Silva (2019-20) for the No. 5 position.
  • The Bears rank 51st nationally — and tops in the MVC — in bench points per game (25.05). MSU also ranks 8th nationally in bench minutes (41.9 pct.) with Bear reserves scoring at least 20 points in 15-of-22 games this season and combining for 30 points on 7 occasions. MSU’s bench has outscored its opponent’s reserves 18 times this year.
  • Former Valpo standout Donovan Clay (Sr., Alton, Ill.) has posted an assist in 23 straight games and has led Missouri State in assists 13 times this season, including 3.8 assists per game in MVC games. His 78 assists in 2022-23 is a new career best and is on pace to become MSU’s first 100-assist performer since 2018-19 (Josh Webster). 
  • During the month of January, Clay averaged a team-best 15.9 points per game to go with 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and a 47.2 FG percentage. He scored in double figures in 8-of-9 games in January (9 vs. Southern Illinois).
  • Damien Mayo Jr. (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) has recorded 5.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game over the last 4 contests, including a 60.0 FG percentage (9-for-15). In his first start since Jan. 7, Mayo matched a career-high with 13 points on Saturday at Murray State.  
  • MSU ranks 28th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 63.0 points per game this season (62.9 in MVC games). 
  • Kendle Moore (So., Danville, Ill.) needs ONE 3-pointer to reach 200 in his career (141 games), which currently ranks 107th among active DI players. He also needs 18 points to reach the 1,200-point milestone in his collegiate career.  

The Series

  • Missouri State leads the all-time series with Valpo, 25-10, including an 9-5 mark at home and 3-3 ledger at Great Southern Bank Arena. The Bears have won all three meetings vs. the Beacons each of the last two seasons and won six straight in the series. 
  • In game one last season (1/15/22), Missouri State rolled to a 74-57 road win with Isiaih Mosley scoring a game-hgih 32 points for the Bears, his third straight 30-point scoring effort. Gaige Prim added 10 points for MSU with Donovan Clay notching a game-high 9 rebounds. Valpo got 14 points from Ben Krikke and 9 from Sheldon Edwards. The Bears never trailed and held Valpo to just 40.7 percent shooting, while out-rebounding the home side by a 38-31 margin. 
  • In the rematch in Springfield (2/12/22), Missouri State had four players score in double figures, including a game-high 22 from Mosley, to turn back Valparaiso, 84-66. The Bears also got 15 points apiece from Prim, Ja’Monta Black and Jaylen Minnett. Clay snagged a game-high 11 rebounds and 5 assists to help the Bears to a 40-27 margin on the glass. Missouri State also dropped in a dozen 3-pointers, including five apiece from Black and Minnett. MSU started the second half on an 11-2 run that included two buckets apiece from Prim and Mosley.
  • In the quarterfinals of Arch Madness (3/4/22), MoState got 18 points and 4 assists from Mosley, while Prim added 16 points and 17 rebounds to help lift the Bears to a 67-58 win. The Bears also got 17 points from Clay, all in the first half, to spark MSU. MoState was solid on the defensive end, holding the Valpo to 36.1 percent from the field and just 16.7 percent from long range, while forcing 10 turnovers. Thomas Kithier led No. 7-seeded Valpo with 17 points, while Sheldon Edwards scored 10 points and snagged 10 rebounds off the bench for the Beacons. | Box Score

Coach Dana Ford

  • Dana Ford (Illinois State, 2006) is 83-62 (.572) in his fifth season as Missouri State head coach, including a 50-19 (.725) ledger at Great Southern Bank Arena, 26-32 record in away games, and 7-11 mark at neutral sites. He is now 140-127 (.524) in his ninth season as a head coach, including four seasons at Tennessee State. Ford is also 51-33 (.607) in Valley games (27-15 at home, 24-18 away). 
  • Coach Ford is 8-3 vs. Valparaiso (2-1 at home, 4-1 at Valparaiso, 2-1 in St. Louis).
  • He picked up his 100th career victory on Feb. 7, 2021 with a Bears’ win at Illinois State (72-62) and coached his 100th game at Missouri State on Dec. 15, 2021 vs. South Dakota State. His win over Oakland on Nov. 27 in The Bahamas was his 75th victory at MSU, while his OT victory at Drake (1/18/23) was his 50th MVC win.
  • CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein listed Missouri State head coach Dana Ford among his “20 coaches on the rise entering the 2022-23 college basketball season.”
  • In a breakout 2021-22 campaign, Missouri State finished the season as one of the nation’s most-efficient offensive teams, ranking 2nd nationally in free throw percentage (.797), 14th in field goal percentage (.482) and 23rd in 3-point FG percentage (.374) — the only DI team to rank in the top 25 in all three. KenPom also rated the Bears 21st in effective FG percentage (54.6) and 23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency (113.2). MSU led the MVC in all of those metrics, except 3-point percentage, while also leading The Valley in scoring (77.3) and turnovers per game (10.6), which ranked 38th and 34th in the country, respectively.
  • Likewise, the 2021-22 Bears finished as runners-up in the Missouri Valley Conference, racking up a 23-11 overall record and 13-5 record in the league. The Bears’ season win total was the program’s most since 2011 and the 10th-best in team history. The squad advanced to the MVC Tournament semifinals for the third straight year and also represented The Valley in the NIT in Ford’s first postseason tournament showing at MoState. The Bears also set team records for 3-point field goals (283) while boasting two first-team all-conference players in the school’s all-time best scoring tandem – Gaige Prim and Isiaih Mosley — while Donovan Clay earned MVC All-Defensive Team honors, and Isaac Haney landed on the MVC All-Freshman Team. Jaylen Minnett was also named to the MVC All-Bench squad.
  • For the third time in his head coaching career, Ford was a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
  • He was introduced as Missouri State’s 18th men’s basketball coach on March 22, 2018 after coaching the previous four seasons at Tennessee State. The native of Tamms, Illinois was 57-65 (.467) at Tennessee State, including a 52-39 ledger in his last three seasons in Nashville. He coached five All-OVC players and two OVC All-Newcomer Team selections during his tenure at TSU. Under his leadership, TSU doubled its home attendance average and twice earned votes in the AP Top 25 poll in 2016-17. 
  • Ford, 38, earned the Ben Jobe Award in 2016 as the nation’s top Division I minority coach. That same year, he was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year and NABC District 19 Coach of the Year after engineering one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history, from a 5-26 record in his first season to a 20-11 mark in 2015-16.
  •  He has served as an assistant at Tennessee State, Wichita State and Illinois State and was responsible for recruiting future NBA talents such as Robert Covington (Trail Blazers) and Fred Van Vleet (Raptors).

Rebound Foundation

  • Bears’ head coach Dana Ford and his wife, Christina, are founders of the Rebound Foundation. The not-for-profit raises funds and awareness to help renew and restore women who have experienced a life of domestic abuse. The foundation provides a stable home and fresh start to abuse victims and their children. The Rebound Foundation currently provides homes in Springfield, Mo., and Chicago, Ill.
  • Pledge to assist the Rebound Challenge today!  Pledge Link
  • This year’s Rebound Foundation Game is Tuesday, Feb. 21 vs. Murray State

This article is provided by Missouri State