Ryan Kreklow scored a career-high 20 points, and Missouri State held off a late surge by visiting Colorado State to lead the Bears (6-2) to a 77-67 victory as part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge series, Tuesday night at JQH Arena. The Bears, who never trailed, also got 12 points from Reggie Scurry and 10 points and 8 rebounds from Obediah Church to help secure the win.
MSU’s lead grew to as many as 20 with 7:50 to play on a three’s by Kreklow and Ronnie Rousseau. The Bears then went the next three minutes without a field goal while CSU chipped away. J.T. Miller’s jumper with 4:41 to play made it a 67-55 game to stop the bleeding, but the Rams answered with a quick 4-0 outburst to cut their deficit to eight.
With less than two minutes remaining, CSU trimmed Missouri State’s advantage to 69-65.
Rhodes, Kreklow and Dixon each made clutch free throws down the stretch as MSU converted 8-of-10 from the stripe and got a series of key defensive stops to put the double-figure win on ice.
MSU returns to action Saturday against South Dakota State in a neutral-site game in Sioux Falls, S.D., before a rematch with North Dakota State on Monday in Fargo.