SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Missouri State Bears have clawed their way into second place in the Valley standings.

And in our Bear Nation report, they have a shot at the top team Saturday afternoon.

Missouri State will take on 22nd-ranked Loyola in Chicago.

It’ll be the last time the Bears will go to Loyola before the Ramblers leave the Valley for the Atlantic Ten.

Both the Bears and Ramblers have won five conference games, but Loyola has not lost, yet.

In fact the last time Loyola lost at home was against the Bears in 2019, that was Ford’s first season.

The Bears boss knows his team has to be aggressive.

“Well its definitely a great opportunity. We’re playing a top 25 team on their home court on national tv. We feel our guys are playing well, preparing well, and looking forward to it. So it’s going to be a great atmosphere. And a great game. And there’s a lot on the line. I’m looking forward to seeing our guys perform. The first thing is our mindset has to be right. We have to understand who we’re playing and how they like to play. And the things we need to do in order to be successful,” said Missouri State coach Dana Ford.