The Missouri State Bears grabbed an 80-65 road win over Evansville on Thursday, thanks in part to Kellen Easley, who scored 18 points, which matched his season high. The Bears were looking for someone to step in and help fill the 11 points per game void left by guard Deke Thompson who injured his hip in practice Wednesday. He’ll be out indefinitely.
Missouri St. set the pace with in the first half with runs of 11-0 and 14-2 to take a 39-25 lead at the half. MSU shot 50 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, but their touch dried up in the second half, as they shot just 34.4 percent the rest of the way. However their accuracy from the line in the second half, kept them in the game—the Bears hit 17-of-20 free throws. Blake Ahearn was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line and finished with 17 points.
Nathan Bilyeu scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Dale Lamberth added 11 points. Tyler Chaney was off from the floor, making just 1-of-9 field goals and scoring seven points, but he dished out six assists.
The win moved MSU to 10-2 on the season and 3-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Evansville dropped to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in the MVC. It was the fifth straight time the Bears have won at Evansville.