Adam Leonard, a junior transfer from Eastern Kentucky scored 14 points thanks in part to 4 of 7 three point shooting as Missouri State opened their seasin with a 73-62 win over Auburn Monday night at JQH Arena.
Up by five, 36-31 at the half, the Bears started the second half with a 12-5 run. A dunk by Caleb Patterson with 13:41 to play gave the Bears a 48-36 lead and brought the 7,213 fans at JQH Arena to their feet.
Auburn’s Lucas Hargrove, who had a game high 24 points, hit a three pointer with 10:29 to play cut the Bears’ lead to 51-43, before a free throw by Ty Armstrong made it a seven point game. However, the Bears came right back with a dunk from Isaiah Rhine and a trey from Leonard at the 8:41 mark that extended MSU’s lead to double-figures again, 56-44. Auburn would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Missouri State continues a five-game home stand Friday with an 8:05 p.m. game against Maryland-Eastern Shore in the opening round of the Hispanic College Fund Challenge. The Bears will also entertain The Citadel on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. and Eastern Michigan on Sunday (8:05 p.m.) in the four team event.