Alize Johnson scored 24 points and 20 rebounds to help Missouri State (13-3, 3-0 MVC) to a 62-55 win over Northern Iowa (8-7, 0-3) in Springfield, Thursday in Missouri Valley Conference play.
It was Johnson’s second 20-20 game of the season and his 10th double-double.
Missouri State, which is off to a 3-0 start in Valley play for the first time since 2010-11, also got 13 points off the bench from J.T. Miller and 9 points from Jarrid Rhodes.
The Bears added to their nine-point halftime lead with a 9-0 run early in the second half.
Miller scored six of MSU’s eight points in a five-minute stretch starting with 14 minutes to play, and Johnson’s two free throws with 6:11 remaining gave the Bears their biggest lead of the night, 55-36.
MSU finished 20-of-54 (.370) from the field and 4-of-16 (.250) from long distance with a .667 (18-of-27) free throw effort. The Bears also turned the ball over 13 times on the night.
Missouri State begins a two-game Valley road swing Sunday at Illinois State (8-7, 2-1 MVC), a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network that tips at 1 p.m. After a road game at Evansville on Jan. 10, the Bears return home on Jan. 14 to take on Indiana State at 2 p.m.