Posted: Saturday, 01 December 2012 9:49PM

Bears drop third in a row

SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State (2-5) outscored visiting Oral Roberts by five in the second half, but a rough first-half performance was too much to overcome as the visiting Golden Eagles (4-4) handed the Bears a 72-52 setback at JQH Arena on Saturday.

Warren Niles had a game-high 21 points for ORU, which snapped a three-game losing streak behind a 52-percent team shooting performance. Anthony Downing scored 18 for Missouri State, including 13 in the second half.

The Bears trailed 40-15 at the intermission as they shot just 20 percent from the field and 1-for-15 from 3-point distance in the first stanza. A Christian Kirk layup just under two minutes into the contest put MSU ahead 2-0, but Oral Roberts responded with 19 straight points over the next nine minutes to set the pace. MSU got a pair of free throws from Dorrian williams with just under nine minutes left in the opening period before a Kirk hook shot at 8:19 marked Missouri State's first field goal in 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, ORU shot lights out on a 15-for-27 (.556) clip in the first 20 minutes and built its largest lead of the opening half on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Niles that gained a 25-point lead for the visiting squad.

The second half started with Damen Bell-Holter scoring the first nine points of the period for Oral Roberts, the last of which pushed the visitors ahead by 30 points, 49-19. A Shawn Glover layup at the 15-minute mark gave ORU its largest lead of the night, 51-19.

After another Glover jumper at the 7:01 mark made it a 67-36 game, the Bears began a 16-5 run to cut their deficit to 20. Downing scored seven points in the span of two minutes, while Drew Wilson, Williams and Kirk helped the run with solid field goals late in the half.

Missouri State also got 10 points and 8 rebounds from Kirk, while Downing had a pair of assists and both of MSU's 3-pointers.

The team finished 20-for-66 (.303) from the field and tied the JQH Arena record for field goal attempts for the third time this season. The Bears were 2-for-26 (.077) from bonus distance and made 10-of-16 (.625) foul shots. MSU was out-rebounded 44-34 but committed just 8 turnovers and outscored ORU 37-32 in the second period.

The 20-point defeat was the largest ever for the Bears at JQH Arena and marked the club's worst home loss since Dec. 13, 1980.

ORU finished 30-for-58 (.517) from the field, including 5-of-11 (.455) from 3-point distance. The visitors were also 7-of-13 (.538) at the line, scored 36 points in the paint and committed 12 turnovers. Glover finished with 14 points, while Bell-Holter added 12 for the Golden Eagles.
The Bears will play their first true road games of the season this week when they travel to Tulsa on Wednesday (7:05 p.m.) and Oklahoma State on Saturday (3 p.m.). MSU returns home on Dec. 15 to do battle with Valparaiso in a 7:05 p.m. contest at JQH.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Ava 9, Mt. Grove 8

Ava won the battle of SCA unbeatens with a walk-off sac fly.

Pictures: Southwest 10, Purdy 8

Southwest claims the Ozark 7 championship.

Pictures: Central vs. Glendale tennis

The Falcons and Bulldogs met at Cooper on Wednesday.
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