Missouri State (16-11, 9-6) earned its third straight Missouri Valley Conference win as the Bears turned back visiting Bradley, 64-53, behind 16 points and 9 rebounds from Anthony Downing. Downing, who also had a game-high 6 assists, was 6-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line. He led three Bears in double figures as Caleb Patterson added 14 points off the bench, and Kyle Weems scored 11. Keith Pickens had a career-high 12 rebounds and 4 blocks in a starting role.
Bradley (7-20, 2-13) led as late as the 12:44 mark of the second half when Walt Lemon, Jr., knocked down a three-pointer to give the visitors a 40-39 advantage. However, from there Missouri State put together a 14-4 run over the next nine minutes to lead 53-44. MSU stretched the lead to double figures in the final minute by going 6-for-6 at the foul line.
MSU shot .364 from the field on 20-of-55 shots, its lowest shooting percentage in six games. The Bears return to the road on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. to battle league-leading Wichita State (22-4, 13-2) at Koch Arena. MSU returns to JQH Arena at 4 p.m. Saturday against Old Dominion in a nationally-televised feature game in the BracketBusters series on ESPNU.