SPRINGFIELD – In a game of two very distinct halves, visiting Drake held Missouri State to just six field goals in the final 20 minutes and escaped JQH Arena with a 68-61 Missouri Valley Conference victory here Tuesday.
Roman Penn scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the final period for the Bulldogs (14-0, 5-0 MVC), keeping Drake among the nation’s five undefeated Division I programs. Darnell Brodie added 16 points and 15 rebounds for DU.
The Bears (9-2, 5-2 MVC) were led by Gaige Prim with 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while Isiaih Mosley posted 17 points and 10 boards. It marked the second straight game MSU had two players with double-doubles.
Missouri State built a 17-point advantage in the first half, pushing ahead 41-24 on a transition layup from Demarcus Sharp just 95 seconds before the intermission. Drake made it a 15-point game at the midway point and then grabbed the early momentum in the second half.
The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the final period and extended their run with a 16-4 outburst seven minutes in to cut their deficit to three. Mosley then got Missouri State going with back-to-back baskets to push the home side ahead 49-42 and restore order temporarily with nearly 10 minutes to play.
Down the stretch, Drake held Missouri State without a field goal for more than 10 minutes, chipping away with six trips to the foul line and a clutch 3-pointer by Penn with three minutes remaining that gave the Bulldogs a 60-55 cushion.
By the time Mosley broke MSU’s 0-for-11 stretch from the field with 33 seconds remaining, Drake had built its largest lead of the night, 64-56, and tacked on four free throws in the final 28 seconds to take the win.
Sharp finished with a career-high 13 points for MSU, which shot 60 percent in the opening half and 40.7 (24-of-59) for the game.
The Bears, who had a 10-game home court win streak snapped, made just 2-of-16 (.125) from long range, but converted 11-of-14 (.786) at the stripe with a 48-36 rebounding advantage.
Drake shot a season-low .368 (25-of-68) from the field, 4-of-14 (.286) from bonus range, and 14-for-21 (.667) at the lie with just 5 turnovers and 14 points off Missouri State’s 16 turns.