Bears continue improvement, top Cleveland State

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Old school rivals Cleveland State visited JQH Arena Tuesday only to be topped by Missouri State again, 73-53.

Keandre Cook led the way for the Bears with 19 points and nine rebounds.

The game also marked just Kabir Mohammed’s second career start as he nearly tallied a double-double on 11 rebounds and nine points.

Bear struggles continued in certain categories as they shot just 37.7 percent in the victory.

Rebounds and free throws were major positives though as Missouri State earned 49 rebounds to the Vikings’ 35 and the Bears went 28-36 from the line compared to Cleveland State’s 13-23.

While far from perfect, the victory takes the Bears to 2-1 overall with signs of improvement heading forward.\

Head Coach Dana Ford gave eleven players minutes in the game, nine of which made it to double-digits.

That included freshman Ford Cooper Jr. who made his Missouri State debut with three points on 1-4 shooting in 17 minutes of action.

“I think the depth is one of our weapons,” Ford said. “If everybody plays together, it’s one of our weapons and I am going to keep preaching that. And I like playing some guys. That’s why I am a little disappointed in our toughness and intensity because guys should be really getting after it. Just a lot going on up there.”

The Bears will need that depth to take a major stride on Friday as they travel to No. 21 Xavier.

Tip-off Friday is set for 6:00 p.m.

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