Jarred Dixon scored a career-high 26 points as Missouri State defended the home court in an 84-50 season-opening victory over Oral Roberts, Dana Ford’s first game as the Bears’ head coach.
Ford said his three seniors – Dixon, Ryan Kreklow and Obediah Church – set the tone with their effort and leadership in the first half. Kreklow scored 13 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. The new head coach said Tuesday’s performance was the best Kreklow has looked since Ford arrived in Springfield.
Missouri State pulled away late in the first half with an 11-0 run, highlighted by Obediah Church and Kabir Mohammed dunks in transition.
The Bears put the game out of reach with a 13-0 run out of halftime, including 9 consecutive points on four baskets by Dixon, building a 57-28 lead.
For the game, MSU shot 56 percent and held the Golden Eagles to just 29 percent from the floor.
“We definitely have some areas of improvement, but if your energy and effort are good, it kind of gives you time to fix some other things,” Ford said after the game. “I’m really satisfied with the student turnout tonight. We put forth a little bit of effort for that and it was great to see those students there.”
Missouri State will host Robert Morris Friday at JQH Arena.