Missouri State (6-3) tied a JQH Arena record with 25 offensive rebounds and got a double-double from junior Alize Johnson to lead the Bears past visiting Oral Roberts, 86-76, on Wednesday. Johnson scored 20 points and snagged a career-high 16 rebounds in his third straight double-double effort and fifth for the young season. Jarred Dixon also contributed 15 points off the bench for MSU, helping the Bears accumulate 40 bench points.
The Bears out-rebounded Oral Roberts by a 46-31 margin and turned their 25 offensive caroms into 22 second-chance points. Johnson accounted for 10 offensive rebounds on his own.
Missouri State came out firing on all cylinders to take a double-figure lead less than seven minutes into the game. An 11-0 run over a four-minute stretch early in the opening half saw five different Bears in the scoring column during the run, including a dunk by Obediah Church. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Austin Ruder and Dixon midway through the half ended a 7-2 stretch by the Golden Eagles and helped the home side secure its biggest lead of the half at 25-13. Just before the intermission, the Golden Eagles used a 3-pointer by Bradley, a layup by Martin and a shot off the glass from Emmanuel Nzekwesi to get within 42-40 at the break.
The Bears finished 33-of-74 (.446) from the field, setting a season high for attempts, while converting 7-of-21 (.333) from bonus distance with 46 rebounds, four turnovers and four blocked shots. MSU’s lone blemish on the night was its foul shooting as the Bears converted just 13-of-28 (.464) from the stripe and just 8-of-21 in the second half.
Missouri State, which improved to 5-1 at JQH Arena this season, continues its four-game home stand on Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip against in-state rival Southeast Missouri State (4-6) in the opening round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.