Missouri State 79, Toledo 66
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP)—Blake Ahearn scored 22 points to lead Missouri State to a 79-66 win over Toledo in the teams’ season opener Saturday.
Ahearn, a preseason first-team all-conference pick in the Missouri Valley, hit 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
After taking a 34-23 halftime lead, the Bears (1-0) shot their way to a 47-31 lead with 15:08 to go.
Toledo (0-1) responded with a 21-9 run, with Keonta Howell and Justin Ingram scoring a combined 16 points during the run to cut the lead to 56-52 with 6:49 left.
Missouri State built the lead back to 62-52 with 5:05 remaining, before a 3-pointer by Ingram cut the lead to 67-62 with 2:30 left.
Dale Lamberth, who finished with 19 points, scored the next five points to give the Bears a 72-62 lead with 1:23 left.
The Rockets outscored Missouri State 34-26 in the paint, but they committed 22 turnovers that the Bears converted into 24 points.
Howell had 23 points for Toledo, Ingram had 16 and Florentino Valencia added 11.
Nathan Bilyeu had 12 points for Missouri State.