The Bears (17-8, 7-6 Missouri Valley) outrebounded Drake 35-27 and went 23 of 29 from the foul line. Jarmar Gulley finished with 11 points.
Missouri State moved out to a 56-48 lead at the midway mark in the second half, but the Bulldogs countered with an 8-2 run to pull within two after a Carter layup with 4:32 remaining.
Pickens sank two free throws to give the Bears a six-point lead, but Hawley responded with a 3-pointer. Pickens answered by making layups on the next two possessions to ice the game.