DES MOINES, Iowa – Brady Ellingson scored a game-high 25 points behind seven 3-pointers and led home standing Drake to a 74-63 win over visiting Missouri State here Sunday in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Ellingson was 7-for-8 from 3-point range and 9-of-10 from the field to lead the Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3 MVC), while D.J. Wilkins added 13 points, and Tremell Murphy scored 11.
The Bears (8-11, 2-4 MVC) were led by Jarred Dixon with 15 points and Tulio Da Silva with 12 points and eight rebounds. Keandre Cook also scored 11 points for MSU, which committed an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers on the afternoon.
After trailing by 14 at the intermission, the Bears took just five minutes to get within 43-38 after eight unanswered points by Cook and a trey by Jared Ridder.
Drake responded with five straight points to extend its lead to 48-38 with just over 13 minutes remaining. But the Bears forced a Drake timeout four minutes later with Kabir Mohammed providing four points, and Josh Webster snagging a steal and layup to get MSU within 51-44.
The Bulldogs answered again with a 9-2 run to make it 60-46 with 6:21 to play. DU would lead by as many as 19 down the stretch before Missouri State ended the game with a 9-0 run.
MSU was 24-for-52 (.462) from the field and 4-of-15 (.267) from 3-point range. The Bears also struggled from the foul line for the second straight game, converting 11-of-20 (.550) at the stripe.
Drake was 28-of-60 (.467) from the field and 11-of-24 (.458) from bonus distance. The Bulldogs made 7-of-8 (.875) at the foul line and out-rebounded Missouri State by a narrow 33-32 margin.
Missouri State scored 36 of its 63 points in the paint and got 16 points off the bench, including nine by Kabir Mohammed.
The last five minutes of the first half primarily determined the outcome with Drake outscoring the visitors 14-5 in that span with three triples by Ellingson and a traditional three-point play by Nick McGlynn. The Bulldog outburst took the game from a four-point contest to a 37-24 game in a flash.
Only Da Silva’s 3-pointer and close-range field goal found their mark for the Bears over the last five minutes of the opening half. MSU made just one if its last five attempts down the stretch, while Drake’s 8-0 run to end the half included a perfect 6-for-6 period for Ellingson.
The Bears return to JQH Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 23 for a key conference matchup against defending MVC champion Loyola at 8 p.m. in a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network.