Ron Mvouika had a breakthrough game. Along the way to 28 points, he set a Missouri State record by making all six of his 3-point attempts.

The junior forward’s response? So what.

“We lost and I can’t get over that,” Mvouika said on a snowy Saturday after his offensive outburst couldn’t save the Bears in a 94-89 loss to Northern Iowa in front of 5,232 fans at McLeod Center.

Missouri State shot 59 percent from the field. It wasn’t enough. Coach Paul Lusk shook his head after his team fell to 12-6 overall, 2-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“It you had told me we were going to score 89 and shoot the percentages we shot, I’d have said we’d probably win the game,” Lusk said.

Mvouika stepped up as the Bears lost their third in a row and second since losing leading scorer Marcus Marshall to a season-ending knee injury. The offense, held to 55 points three days earlier at Indiana State, wasn’t the culprit.

But on the other end, Missouri State had no answers. Junior forward Nate Buss scored 26 points and made five 3-pointers, with Seth Tuttle adding 21 points as the Panthers (10-8, 4-2) bettered Missouri State by shooting 67 percent.

“Neither team could guard,” Lusk said. “A lot of credit to Northern Iowa. They shot it at a high clip, but … we guarded like we needed to.”

Mvouika, whose previous career high was 18 points against Cameron, said the Bears had to tip their hats to the Panthers.

“They made a lot of shots, some of them were just tough shots,” Mvouika said. “We had mistakes on defense and they were hot the whole night. Sometimes it happens that way.”

This one was about as opposite as the one between the teams here a year ago as you’ll see. That time, the Panthers slugged out a 48-37 victory in which baskets were gold.

This time, both teams had stretches of scoring at will. Northern Iowa made 15 of its first 19 shots in powering to a 39-27 lead with just under four minutes left in the first half.