Springfield, MO -- Missouri State (7-1) got 18 points off the bench from Ron Mvouika (Jr., G, Paris, France) and committed just six turnovers to dispatch visiting Cameron University, 81-57, here Wednesday.
MSU, which never trailed, was also helped on the offensive end by freshman standouts Tyler McCullough (C, Fayetteville, Ark.) and Austin Ruder (G, Nixa, Mo.) who pitched in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Jarmar Gulley (Sr., F, Beaumont, Texas) also added 9 points and a game-high 9 rebounds in the victory.
Cameron was paced by Division II preseason player of the year Craig Foster who tallied 10 points and 5 assists, while Sean McGary added 10 points in a reserve role for the Aggies.
The Bears extended their JQH Arena win streak to six games with a solid defensive effort that saw the home club snag eight steals and force 14 CU turnovers. After going into the half with a 16-point advantage, the Bears used pressure defense and timely rebounding to run their advantage to 50-29 less than five minutes into the second stanza.
A 10-2 Bears run early in the second half included four points apiece by McCullough and Emmanuel Addo. Later in the half, Nathan Scheer capped a 6-0 run by the home squad with a layup in traffic after Christian Kirk and Gavin Thurman started the stretch with scores that pushed MSU ahead by its largest margin of the night, 66-41 with 8:08 remaining.
Mvouika scored 11 of his points in the final seven-and-a-half minutes, while Michael Simpson contributed a steal and layup in crunch time to put the game away. Mvouika finished 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 6-of-10 from the field.
Ruder was the only other MSU player to score multiple 3-pointers as he finished 2-for-5 from downtown with a career-high 3 steals and a pair of assists.
For the night, Missouri State was 28-for-62 (.452) from the field, but just 7-of-24 (.292) from bonus distance. The Bears had another good night at the foul line, knocking down 18-of-23 (.783) attempts.
Despite being out-rebounded by a 37-34 margin, the Bears surrendered just one second-chance point on the night and used 38 bench points and 38 points in the paint to keep the Aggies at arm’s length most of the night.
Cameron made 19 of its 51 (.373) shots, including 6-of-16 from beyond the arc, with 13 makes in 24 trips to the free throw line (.542).
In the first half, it took Missouri State just over 14 minutes to stretch its lead to double digits as Ruder engineered a 7-0 run by the home club with a 3-pointer and layup before Gulley tipped in a follow up to make it 30-16 with 4:33 to go. MSU later put together another 7-0 run as they extended a 33-22 advantage to 40-22 with a trey by Mvouika, a Gulley runner off the glass and a layup by Kirk.
The Aggies ended the half with a pair of free throws to make it a 40-24 game at the intermission.
Missouri State will now have nine days to prepare for a Dec. 13 trip to Oral Roberts (5-3), a 7 p.m., tipoff from the Mabee Center in Tulsa next Friday. The game, which kicks off a two-game road swing, will be televised on KCZ, The Ozarks CW, and the MSU Television Network, in addition to ESPN Fullcourt. The Bears return to JQH Arena on Dec. 21 to take on Alabama A&M.
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