The Missouri State Bears defeated Eastern Michigan, 75-61, Sunday night in the final game of the Hispanic College Fund Challenge at JQH Arena. The Bears went 3-0 in the event to improve to 4-0 overall. Nafis Ricks and Caleb Patterson led five Bears in double figures with 13 apiece while tournament MVP Kyle Weems scored 11. Will Creekmore added 11 points, and Adam Leonard hit for 10.
The Bears wasted no time building a double-figure lead, outscoring the Eagles 15-4 in the first seven minutes of the game. Eastern Michigan (2-2) made it a 15-6 game with 12:34 to play in the opening stanza and would never get any closer. The Bears built their lead to 40-21 at halftime as five different players hit three-pointers, and the team shot 53.8 percent from the field.
In the second half, Missouri State continued its assault on the Mid-American Conference foe, adding to its advantage to 48-24 just under three minutes into the second half on a bucket by Ryan Jehle. The Eagles reeled off the game’s next eight points to make it a 16-point contest, 48-32 with 15:21 to go in the game. Later, a three-pointer by Weems gave the Bears an 18-point lead again, 53-35, before EMU scored eight of the game’s next 10 points, capped by a hook shot by Jamell Harris with 11:57 to go, to cut the MSU lead to 55-43. That was as close as the visitors would get as Ricks hit a short jumper on the very next Missouri State possession that started a 13-5 run by the Bears to put the game on ice.
The three-day grind of the Hispanic College Fund Challenge seemed to have a minimal effect on the Bears as they shot 55.1 percent in the tournament finale (27-for-49) and connected on 7-of-16 three-pointers (.438). Story courtesy of missouristatebears.com