Chris Cooks and Kyle Weems recorded their second double-doubles of the season to help Missouri State to a 65-62 home win over Evansville Wednesday night in Missouri Valley Conference play at JQH Arena.
Cooks’ 18-point effort was his best in four games to go along with 10 rebounds — his second-highest total of the season — while Weems recorded 10 points and 10 boards to post his second straight double-double as the Bears snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 10-13 overall and 3-9 in the MVC.
After Justin Fuehrmeyer’s three-pointer beat the first-half horn to tie the game, 30-30, Evansville opened the second half with a 16-3 run to go up 46-33 at the 14:20 mark.
From there, Evansville native Cardell McFarland reeled off nine of MSU’s next 11 points to close the gap to 51-44 before Weems’ three-point shot with 9:39 to go made it a four-point ball game.
Sophomore Will Creekmore hit the next two field goals to tie the game, 51-51, with 6:26 remaining. After Evansville regained the lead on a basket by Kaylon Williams on its next possession, Creekmore knotted the game at 53 before fouling out with just under three minutes to play.
After a pair of free throws and a basket by Cooks, the Bears built a 61-57 lead at the 2:32 mark, which would be the last field goal the Bears would score. MSU made just 5-of-10 free throws in the final minute, but it was enough to hang on for the win and improve to 9-5 at home this season.
The Bears made 12-of-24 shots in the second half to overcome an 14 turnovers. MSU gained a win in the rebounding battle, 35-33, snapping a three-game deficit on the boards, while connecting on 12-of-20 (.600) free throws and 7-of-18 (.389) from beyond the arc.
The Bears continue a two-game home stand on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2. The game is a "White Out" at JQH Arena, and all Bears fans are encouraged to wear white for the game against Southern Illinois (10-13, 5-7).