Dequon Miller scored a game-high 18 points to lead Missouri State (8-3) past visiting Chicago State, 66-46, at JQH Arena in Springfield on Monday in the second round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. MSU outrebounded the visiting Cougars by a 42-27 margin and converted 9-of-11 free throws in the final six minutes to seal a key home victory.
Chicago State (3-9) was led by Trayvon Palmer who had 13 points and 9 rebounds, while Montana Byrd scored 11.
The Bears extended a 38-23 halftime lead to a 21-point advantage right out of the box in the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Miller and Jarrid Rhodes.
For the game, MSU was 21-for-50 (.420) from the field, 10-of-28 (.357) from 3-point distance and 14-of-21 (.667) at the stripe with 15 turnovers, five blocks and six steals.
Missouri State, which improved to 7-1 at JQH Arena this season, now travels to Las Vegas for the semifinals and finals of the Las Vegas Classic, Thursday and Friday at Orleans Arena.
The Bears will square off with No. 23 Southern Cal (11-0) on Thursday at 10 p.m. (Central) on FS1, with the winner advancing to Friday’s championship game against DePaul or Wyoming. The two semifinal losers will also meet on Friday evening for third place, and both of Friday’s game will also air on FS1.