Missouri State built its lead over visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to as many as 26 points in the second half and forced 18 turnovers at JQH Arena on Monday in a 66-53 victory in the second round of the Las Vegas Classic.
The Bears added to a 41-19 intermission lead midway through the half. Corey Copeland and Christian Kirk accounted for 13 straight MSU points over a five-minute span. An impressive drive through the lane by Copeland at the 5:49 mark made it a 61-35 game to give the home squad its biggest lead of the night.
Missouri State scored just one field goal the rest of the way, and the Islanders (1-8) had a dunk and four three-pointers in the final 5:15 to make the final count respectable.
The 7-3 Bears now head to Las Vegas for the finals of the event, starting Thursday at 7 p.m. (Central) against West Virginia at the Orleans Arena. MSU will then play against St. Mary’s at 10:30 p.m. Friday to close out the tournament.