MVC Notebook | Missouri State’s Mosely Joins Rare Company | Sports
Isiaih Mosley joined a class on Saturday where it doesn’t take long to call.
By scoring 40 points on just 22 shots in Missouri State’s 79-69 loss to the then No. 1. 22 Loyola in Chicago, Mosley became just the seventh player in Missouri Valley Conference history to drop a 40-burger on an opponent twice in the same year. He had 43 points on Jan. 8 in a one-point home loss to Northern Iowa.
If history is any guide, Mosley will cash NBA paychecks sooner rather than later. The previous six all did. Not only Larry Bird, of course, but Hersey Hawkins, Xavier McDaniel, Benoit Benjamin, Lewis Lloyd and Roger Phegley also played in multiple 40-point games in the same season before launching NBA careers of varying lengths.
“Just his approach to practice and shootouts, the highest level of focus,” Bears coach Dana Ford said Monday when asked about Mosley’s historic feat. “It all started when he came back from Christmas vacation.
“We haven’t made a lot of adjustments. He just has free rein to do what he has to do when he gets it. He is truly blessed with the goalscoring touch.
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To take the NBA comparison one step further, Mosley’s 172 points over the past five games is the fourth-best in NCAA games over the past five seasons. Campbell’s Chris Clemons had 176 points in 2018-19, one more than Marcus Howard of Marquette a year later and two more than Max Abmas of Oral Roberts last year.
Behind Mosley with 165 points in five games in 2017-18? Atlanta Hawks All-Star guard Trae Young, who did it in his only college season at Oklahoma.
Mosley’s searing streak propelled Missouri State (15-6, 6-2) into contention for the MVC regular season title. Additionally, the Bears moved up to 60th in the NCAA NET rankings because their win at Loyola was a Quad 1 victory while the Ramblers are 26th in the NET.
If Missouri State can avoid the NET landmines in its last 10 conference games and defeat Loyola in the home rematch, it would at least give itself a chance to win the conference tournament without requiring the automatic bidding.
INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S BREAK
In a case of really bad timing, the Indiana State Women hit a COVID-19 break that forced them to postpone back-to-back games, including a big Thursday night in Terre Haute against SIU.
The Sycamores determined on Saturday, a day after a road win over Valparaiso and a day before a game at Loyola, that they wouldn’t have enough healthy players to compete. MVC rules state that a team must have at least eight players and a coach to play matches.
Worse still for Indiana State is that it started 4-1 in the conference, with the only loss to league-leading Illinois State. The Sycamores must now make up for three COVID-19 postponements before the conference tournament begins on March 10 in Moline.
Their next scheduled game is Saturday at home with Missouri State; the status of this game likely won’t be determined until the middle of the week.
TIME IN 3 POINTS
Talk about your turnovers. The Illinois State-Evansville series home court over the weekend was reportedly worth 41 points. After beating the Purple Aces 94-56 Friday night in Normal, the Redbirds traveled south for Sunday’s rematch and lost 56-53 for Evansville’s first conference win. … If you’re looking for a sleeper in Arch Madness, you might want to shell out a few shekels on Bradley. A road win over Drake and a follow-up win over SIU that the Braves never trailed in confirmed their obvious physical abilities. If they find the consistency that eluded them in the first half of the season, they are a team to watch down to the home stretch. … Bradley’s women, on the other hand, now own a 13-game losing streak after a 53-41 loss at the SIU on Saturday. The Braves are likely heading for the last spot in the Valley unless they find ways to score the ball.