Missouri State (11-6, 4-1) beat visiting Southern Illinois in Springfield on Tuesday, 77-65, as the Bears held on to a share of the Missouri Valley Conference lead with fellow front-runners Creighton and Wichita State.
Jarmar Gulley scored a game-high 18 points to lead four MSU players in double figures. Kyle Weems added 16 points for the Bears, while Caleb Patterson posted 15 in his return to the floor after missing two games with a concussion. Anthony Downing also added 13 off the bench behind an 11-for-12 free-throw effort to help MSU overcome a season-high 20 turnovers.
Coach Paul Lusk’s squad finished 25-for-27 (.926) at the line, including 19-for-20 in the second half, and out-rebounded the Salukis by a 33-26 margin. The team’s free throw accuracy was a season-best, while its 10 offensive rebounds was the most by Missouri State in seven games.
Missouri State continues its three-game week on Friday at 7 p.m. with a trip to Northern Iowa (12-5, 2-3). The Bears then return home Sunday at 2 p.m. to do battle with Evansville (7-8, 2-3).