Missouri State got at least six points from all 11 players in uniform to roll past visiting Missouri-St. Louis here Monday night in the exhibition season opener for both clubs, 84-48. The Bears led by as many as 40 points midway through the second half, but the visitors from the Division II ranks never stopped fighting in a physical battle on both ends.
MSU outscored UMSL by just seven points, 34-27, in the second half, but needed only maintain the momentum built by a 31-point halftime lead to secure the win before 3,832 fans at JQH Arena. The Bears shot 52.3-percent for the game and outrebounded the Tritons by a 47-27 margin, forcing 22 total turnovers.
The Bears made just five of their first 22 shots to start the game, but managed to build a 13-8 lead with solid defensive pressure and rebounding. Missouri State shot 51% in the first 20 minutes and forced 17 turnovers. The Bears improved from the field in the second half with a 54% effort and made good on 7-of-14 three-pointers in the contest. Freshman Michael Porter led MSU with 12 points on a 5-for-8 shooting.
UMSL got 12 points from Zach Redel who was 5-for-6 from the field and Ryan Lawrence added eight points and a team-high six rebounds. The Tritons finished with a 34.0-percent shooting effort and were just 3-for-12 from beyond the arc.
The Bears return to exhibition play next Tuesday at JQH Arena against Henderson State University at 7:05 p.m., while UMSL has 12 days off before hitting the road to Murray State for another preseason game on November 14.
Story courtesy of Missouri State Athletics.