Junior Keith McDougald posted 17 points to lead the Dolphins (2-2) who had 10 players record at least a rebound and a point in the win. Senior Glenn Powell had 10 points and eight rebounds to help the cause.
“I am really proud with the way we played,” JU head coach Cliff Warren said. “Everyone had a hand in this win. This is exactly what we needed after last Friday’s loss. Hopefully, we can carry this over to Wednesday.”
The Dolphins used a 10-2 run early into the second half, capped on a baseline jumper from freshman Tyler Alderman, to gain a 46-32 advantage (12:15). The Bears (1-2) countered with a 15-6 stretch to get back in it and cut its deficit to 56-53 with 4:39 remaining. McDougald answered with a three-pointer in the next possession, but Dorrian Williams added a three-pointer to keep the pressure on JU.
Keith Pickens cut the deficit to 59-58 on free throw with 1:58 left. After a timeout, Missouri State missed four looks in one possession before McDougald grabbed the rebound and hit a layup on the other end for a 61-58 JU advantage with 34 seconds remaining. JU forced a steal in the next possession to finally quash the Bears rally.
The Dolphins shot 52.0 percent from the floor in the second half en route to a 49.0 field goal percentage for the game. JU also beat Missouri State in bench points (22-14) and points in the paint (20-16). Freshman Kordario Fleming filled up with the stat sheet with seven points, five boards and five assists for the Dolphins.
In the first half, freshman Marcellous Bell broke an 11-11 tie for JU with a three-pointer at 11:12. Two Christian Kirk put backs help keep the Bears close until a Glenn Powell jump hook gave JU a 22-17 with 7:50 remaining. The Bears got within a bucket twice, but another Glenn Powell jumper in the final two minutes gave the Dolphins a 30-26 advantage at halftime.
Anthony Downing led the Bears with 15 points with the help of 7 of 9 attempts at the free throw line. Perkins had 11 points and Kirk finished with 10.
The Dolphins continue the Hoops for Hope Classic Wednesday at Arkansas-Little Rock. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.