The Missouri State Bears capped off their men’s basketball season with a 78-65 win over Pacific from the Big West Conference to claim the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament championship game at JQH Arena on Tuesday night.
The Bears finished their season 24-12 as they rallied from down six with just about 11 minutes to play by going on a 11-0 run. Five players scored in double figures and shot 57% as a team for the game.
The Bears got a team high 16 points from Caleb Patterson who came off the bench to score 11 in the second half and finished 7-for-10 from the field with 5 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Kyle Weems scored 14, while Nafis Ricks added 13 for MSU.
After Pacific led 35-29 at the half, Patterson hit a pair of jumpers early in the second half to keep the Bears close. With 11:06 to play in the game, Joe Ford’s basket put Pacific up 50-44. However, the Bears reeled off 11 unanswered points over the next two minutes, capped by a steal and dunk by Jermaine Mallett with 9:02 to go to put Missouri State on top 55-50.
Cuonzo Martin’s Bears would never trail again, as the victory was the 19th at JQH Arena this season for the Bears, which tied Kansas for the national lead in home-court wins. The Bears’ 24th victory of the year overall matched the second-most in a season by a Missouri State club and marked the first time the program has ended the season with a win since 1978-79