SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Caleb Patterson scored 16 points to lead Missouri State to a 78-65 win over Pacific to capture the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship Tuesday.
Patterson scored 11 in the second half to lead the comeback for Missouri State."He played well," coach Cuonzo Martin said. "That's what he's capable of and it's what we expect of him."Patterson said he wasn't expecting a lot of playing time because of his poor performances in the first three tournament games that had him playing a total of 27 minutes, including just one minute in the semifinal game against Creighton."I had a rough couple of games but I tried to go out and have a lot of energy. It was a nice boost but I still have a lot of things to work on," Patterson said.Four other Bears scored in double figures as Missouri State (24-12) rallied midway in the second half to overtake Pacific (23-12).Pacific, champions of the Big West Conference, led 50-44 with 11:08 left before Missouri State went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good at 55-50 with 9 minutes left."We kept telling ourselves we had to keep grinding. There wasn't a whole lot they did that we hadn't seen this year. We kept up our pressure on defense and stayed the course through the game," Kyle Weems said.Pacific got within 57-55 with 7:06 left, but scored just four points over the next 5:13 to fall behind 69-59 with 2:19 to go.Pacific coach Bob Thomason wouldn't blame the team's lack of energy late in the game on the constant traveling."Travel is an excuse," Thomason said. "There are no excuses in this deal but nobody should play four road games and nobody should play four home games. I wouldn't have played in this tournament if I knew we would play four straight [on the road]."Pacific struggled late in the second half, committing turnovers and fouls that ended any comeback attempt."You can't ever give up turnovers for layups. I tell my guys if they are going to turn the ball over, throw it up in the stands," Thomason said.Weems had 14 points for Missouri State and Nafis Ricks had 13. Will Creekmore and Adam Leonard added 10.Demetrece Young led Pacific with 17 points and Joe Ford added 16. Sam Willard and Allen Huddleston each had 10.