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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 3:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: JQH Arena (11,000) -- Springfield, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: SEMO 3-1, MSU 6-0. Away Record: SEMO 2-3, MSU 2-1. Neutral Record: SEMO 3-0, MSU 1-1. Conference Record: SEMO 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: Missouri State leads, 88-54.
GAME NOTES: The Missouri State Bears and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks will renew their long-standing rivalry on Sunday afternoon, as they tip off at JQH Arena in non-conference action.
An 83-79 win in overtime against IUPUI allowed SEMO to end a short two-game slide that featured setbacks against Illinois-Chicago and No. 17 Memphis. Even those couple of losses were unable to keep the Redhawks, who are 8-4 overall, down for long. The Ohio Valley Conference schedule gets underway for the Redhawks next, as they take on Murray State.
After a 7-0 start, the Bears have come back down to Earth. They have won three of their last five outings with losses against Virginia (83-63) and No. 6 Louisville (90-60) sandwiched around triumphs over Cameron (81-57) and Oral Roberts (70-67), before a 68-47 win over Alabama A&M last Sunday. Missouri State has still yet to lose in six chances at home, where it will be to begin Missouri Valley Conference action against Illinois State on Thursday.
This rivalry has been a rather dormant one of late, with the teams mixing it up just four times in the last 30 years. Those meetings have been split, with SEMO taking a 70-53 win during the 2002 season most recently. However, Missouri State owns an 88-54 advantage in the all-time series.
SEMO ended the second half against IUPUI with a 6-0 spurt to erase a six-point deficit, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Paul McRoberts with 36 seconds to play. A three-point play from Jamaal Calvin on the first possession of the extra session placed the Redhawks ahead for good, as they escaped with the victory.
Jarekious Bradley (20.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Tyler Stone (18.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) were at the top of their game in the thrilling win. Bradley, the team's leading scorer, paced the club again with 27 points as well as 10 rebounds. Stone hung up another double-double with 15 points to match 15 boards. Stone has four double-doubles this season, while Bradley has accounted for three. Darrian Gray (10.1 ppg) and Antonius Cleveland serve as complementary scorers, and Lucas Nutt (8.6 ppg, 5.8 apg) makes up for his meager scoring with exceptional distribution skills. The Redhawks are netting 83.7 ppg, good enough to rank in the top-25 nationally.
Missouri State did not let one Alabama A&M player score in double figures, while holding its foe to 26.8 percent shooting. The Bears also earned a 47-34 edge on the boards, thanks to a 15-rebound effort from Keith Pickens. Marcus Marshall had a game-high 18 points.
The Bears do not score as prolifically as the Redhawks, but they are a more effective defensive team, holding foes to 68.8 ppg on 42.5 percent shooting. Marshall (13.3 ppg) missed some games early in the season but has come on to be the most reliable scorer for the Bears. Jarmar Gulley (12.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is another solid scorer, who has been doing so all season long. Missouri State doesn't have any other double-digit scorers, but it is balanced with eight players scoring at least six points per game.
The ability to slow teams down added to their rousing success at home, will be the keys to victory for the Bears. Stone and Bradley will get theirs, but Missouri State will be able to limit the rest of the Redhawks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri State 74, SE Missouri State 67
12/29 11:02:30 ET
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