Missouri State basketball put up a fight but it wasn't enough to knock off No. 12 BYU

·3 min read

Missouri State kept it close and put up a fight, but it wasn't enough to knock off one of the best teams in the country.

The Bears (4-4, 0-1) fell 74-68 to No. 12 BYU on Saturday afternoon in front of 7,006 fans at JQH Arena. The Cougars were the highest-ranked non-conference team to ever come through Springfield.

Missouri State will hope this performance can lead to some momentum when it travels to Little Rock on Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. tip.

More: 3 takeaways: Did Missouri State basketball find something to build off of in loss to No. 12 BYU?

Dana Ford's coaching adjustments throughout the game could lead to a different look to the team for the remainder of the season. Instead of the Bears' starters keeping them in the game, they got sparks from their bench throughout the afternoon.

Lu'cye Patterson, of Missouri State, drives to the net during the Bears game against BYU at JQH Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.
Lu'cye Patterson, of Missouri State, drives to the net during the Bears game against BYU at JQH Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Lu'Cye Patterson, Jaylen Minnett and Isaac Haney each played 25 or more minutes with Minnett leading the team with 19 points. The three added different energy and level of ball movement to the Bears' offense that was not there when the starting five played together.

That also led to Ford playing star junior Isiaih Mosley for a total of seven minutes in which he went scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting. Fellow junior Ja'Monta Black was also limited to just 14 minutes and two points on 1-for-5 shooting.

Ford went with the reserves throughout the final 10 minutes of the first half and kept the game within eight before the break. To start the second, the Bears went back to the starting five and they allowed a quick 6-0 run as Ford called a timeout and went back to the reserves two minutes in. Mosley didn't return to the court.

Jaylen Minnett, of Missouri State, shoots a three pointer during the Bears game against BYU at JQH Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.
Jaylen Minnett, of Missouri State, shoots a three pointer during the Bears game against BYU at JQH Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

At that point, BYU led by 14 and looked like it was going to put the game away but Patterson and Minnett had other plans. The two helped lead the Bears back while going on a 16-4 run to bring the game back within two with 13:24 to go.

Missouri State kept the game within striking distance for the remainder of the afternoon and even brought it back within one with 1:38 left. BYU responded by going on a 10-2 run and putting the game out of reach.

Star starting center Gaige Prim still contributed throughout the game with 27 minutes and 17 points on the board. Fellow starters Donovan Clay and Keaton Hervey played 34 and 23 minutes respectively.

BYU star guard Alex Barcello proved to be tough to slow down for the Bears throughout the afternoon as he scored 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The Cougars forced the Bears into 12 turnovers and held them to 40.9 percent from the field.

With 7,006 fans in attendance, the game was the second-largest of the Ford era and the largest since the Bears' regular-season finale against Drake in 2019.

Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at wwheeler@news-leader.com 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: BYU holds on to beat Bears

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