Bears Lose OT Thriller at SIU

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Obediah Church appeared to score a game-winning, buzzer-beating layup, but replay review confirmed his attempt came too late as Missouri State dropped a heartbreaker at Southern Illinois, 81-80 in overtime.

Jarrid Rhodes scored a career-high 21 points in the defeat, playing 43 of 45 minutes for the Bears. He connected on five 3-pointers, three of which came during a back-and-forth second half which featured many of the game’s 16 lead changes.

Senior Alize Johnson posted his 18th double-double of the season, with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

The Bears jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the opening minutes, but trailed 35-34 at halftime. SIU junior Sean Lloyd was all but unstoppable in the second half, hitting 10 of 12 shots for 20 of his team-high 21 points. 

Tied at 70 nearing the end of regulation, Rhodes pump faked to create an open 3-point look for the win, but it rimmed out, sending the game to overtime.

In the final sequence of OT, Jarred Dixon made a floater to put the Bears ahead 80-79 with nine seconds left. Aaron Cook charged upcourt and drew a reach-in foul on MSU freshman Mustafa Lawrence. He made both free throws for SIU to retake the lead.

After a Salukis timeout, Dixon put up a runner with a second and a half left, leaving it short. Obediah Church grabbed the rebound and put it back up, but officials determined the clock hit zeroes before his release.

Wednesday’s loss is Missouri State’s seventh consecutive setback to the Salukis, dating back to 2015.

The Bears (17-11, 7-8 MVC) return to JQH Arena to face Drake Sunday at 3 pm.

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