Bears Take First Loss Friday Night

Sports

Missouri State’s marathon of college basketball games continued Friday night at JQH Arena. In our Bear Nation report, Missouri State looked for its third straight victory to open the season.

The 0-2 North Dakota State Bison invaded Springfield. After the game, the Bears head to Florida for a three games in three days tournament.

Missouri State was ice cold early, but Alize Johnson got the Bears going with a defensive rebound, coast-to-coast drive and lay-in for the game’s first basket.

Obediah Church put the ball on the deck, split the defense and scored off the glass to make it 6-2 Bears.

North Dakota State kept the game close all night. AJ Jacobson connected on a contested three to put the Bison on top 11-8.

Johnson heated up after that, crossing over a Bison defender and cutting the deficit to six.

Before half, End of the first half Jarred Dixon drained a three, and it was 24-22 Bison lead at the break. Dixon’s was the lone 3-pointer for the Bears Friday night.

The Bears retook the lead early in the second half. Alize Johnson’s putback two made it 43-40 Bears. Johnson led all players with 23 points and 20 rebounds.

But the Bison did not go away. Paul Miller’s jumper in the paint gave them a 48-47 lead.

Ronnie Rousseau responded with two straight jumpers. The second gave MSU a 51-48 lead with 3:53 to play. It was the final field goal for the Bears. 

Jacobson made another jumper to tie the game at 52, and after a series of free throws by both teams, NDSU had a 57-54 lead.

Jarrid Rhodes shot a three at the buzzer but it hit the back rim. The Bears finished 1-for-17 from beyond the arc, and the Bison upset Missouri State 57-54. 

“We didn’t play the way we needed to play on the offensive end,” Head Coach Paul Lusk said. “It was a two point game at halftime. We just missed a lot of good shots. But give them a lot of credit.  I thought our guys got down and really tried to guard, but they just beat us.”

Missouri State (2-1) heads to Florida to take on Georgia Southern Monday afternoon in the first of three games in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

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