Missouri State shouldn't have lost to Illinois State the first time and it made sure it didn't a second time.
The Bears (14-6, 5-2) won their third straight game with an 88-63 win over Illinois State (9-9, 2-3) on Wednesday night at JQH Arena.
The win comes after Illinois State handed the Bears a 79-74 overtime loss on Dec. 1. The Bears led by as many as nine in the final 4:30 of regulation but couldn't hold on against the team picked to finish in last place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Missouri State will have its toughest MVC test yet when it hits the road to play No. 22 Loyola Chicago (14-2, 5-0) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
After scoring 32 or more points in the previous three games, junior star Isiaih Mosley had to sit for the majority of the first half on Wednesday night after picking up two early fouls.
It didn't matter as his teammates stepped up in his absence. Ja'Monta Black finished the first half with 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting with four makes from beyond the arc. Gaige Prim added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with three rebounds.
Illinois State didn't let the Bears get too far out of reach. Although it never led, Illinois State never let the Bears' lead grow by more than 12 when they had a near double-figure point advantage for the majority of the first 20 minutes.
The Redbirds weren't as fortunate in the second half as the Bears started on a 12-2 run to extend their lead up to 20 within the first four minutes. By the under-12 timeout, Missouri State built its lead up to as many as 27 with Mosley scoring 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting over the stretch.
The remainder of the game was more of the same with the Bears leading by as many as 29. They removed their key contributors with 2:33 left in the game with an 82-59 lead.
Mosley finished the game with 24 points with 22 coming in the second half. He shot 7-of-11 and was 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Prim came out of the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury but he returned to the bench with it wrapped up underneath his left shoe. He looked like he could have returned it the game was more competitive late. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Black added 14 points while Donovan Clay scored 10 and grabbed six boards.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He's also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Missouri State basketball: Bears get their revenge over Illinois State