Camyn Boone scored a career-high 24 points and snagged a game-high 10 rebounds to help lift Missouri State (3-5) past visiting IUPUI here Thursday, 88-74, and give the Bears their third victory in four games.
Boone was 9-for-15 from the floor and sparked a second-half comeback for the home side after the Jaguars led by as many as 14 in the opening stanza. Chris Kendrix and Dorrian Williams added 19 points apiece for MSU, while Dequon Miller scored 15.
IUPUI (3-8), from the Summit League, was led by Darell Combs with 20 points, while Matt O’Leary contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds.
A 60-footer at the halftime buzzer by Combs pushed IUPUI ahead 42-33 at the intermission, but the Bears took less than two minutes to find their rhythm in the second half. Boone sparked an 18-2 run over a six-and-a-half minute stretch to push Missouri State back on top 53-48 with 12:16 to go. Williams tallied half of MSU’s points during the run.
After five more ties, the Bears used keen free throw shooting to push ahead for good as Jarred Dixon, Boone, Kendrix and Miller helped ignite an 8-0 MSU outburst that resulted in a 68-62 advantage with 6:30 to play. Six of the Bears’ points on the run were at the foul stripe and charged Missouri State to a 17-for-17 performance at the line in the second half and 23-for-27 effort (.852) for the game.
Over the last five minutes of the game, IUPUI went just 3-for-8 from the field, while the Bears kept pushing the tempo. A 3-pointer by Miller in transition, a layup by Boone, two athletic plays at the rim by Kendrix, and a break-away layup by Dixon led Missouri State to an 82-72 advantage with 1:40 remaining and put the game on ice.
Kendrix and Williams both came up one point shy of matching career highs, but the Bears shot a season-best 49.2 percent from the field on 30-of-61 shots. MSU struggled from beyond the arc at times, finishing 5-for-16 (.313), but made up for it with a 36-34 rebounding advantage and just 7 turnovers – 2 in the second half.
The Jaguars were 27-for-60 (.450) from the field after a fast start and dropped in 10-of-21 (.476) from bonus distance with 10-of-13 (.769) makes at the stripe. IUPUI committed 16 turnovers, including 10 in the second half, and gave up 22 points off those turnovers.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said MSU head coach Paul Lusk. “We looked like a team that been in finals all week. We were sluggish early, but we made some adjustments and did some good things in the second half. Credit to them. They’re a good team and came to play.”
In the first half, IUPUI shot an even 50 percent from the field, drained 6 shots from beyond the arc and led by 9 points. Boone tallied 16 of his points in the first 20 minutes of the game, but his teammates were a combined 7-for-22 from the field in that span.
MSU continues its three-game home stand on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. against Tulsa (6-3).