Marcus Marshall had a career-high 19 points for Missouri State, but the home standing Wichita State Shockers were too much as WSU closed out a 79-50 Missouri Valley Conference decision over the Bears in Wichita Saturday.
Cleanthony Early led No. 22 Wichita State (20-5, 9-4) with 16 points and 8 rebounds as the Shockers shot 49.2 percent from the field and dominated the boards, 47-22.
MSU (7-18, 5-8) cut into its 15-point halftime deficit early in the second stanza with a pair of free throws by Gavin Thurman and a layup from Keith Pickens that made it a 42-29 game with 17:49 left. More than a minute later, Dorrian Williams made it 43-30 with a free throw, but the Bears would get no closer the rest of the way.
Wichita state reeled off the next 10 points over a four-minute stretch to lead 53-30 with 12:39 on the clock. WSU later added insult to injury with three dunks over the next three minutes to push ahead by 26 and later led by as many as 28. Gregg Marshall’s Shockers knocked down their ninth and final 3-pointer of the night with 38 seconds to go to take their biggest lead of the night with the final 79-50 margin.
Missouri State finished 16-for-51 (.314) from the field and 6-of-19 (.316) from bonus distance with an impressive 12-for-14 (.857) effort at the line. Anthony Downing added 9 points for the maroon squad with Williams adding 4 assists. The Bears committed 10 turnovers, and Pickens with 3 was the only Bear with more than 2 rebounds.
WSU also got 11 points from Nick Wiggins, 10 from Malcolm Armstead and 10 from Tekele Cotton. The Shockers, who snapped a three-game losing streak, shot 29-for-59 from the field, 9-for-20 (.450) from three, and 12-for-20 (.600) at the line. Ehimen Orupke had a game-high 10 caroms for the home team, which finished with 17 offensive rebounds and 18 second-chance points.
In the first half, Early had 11 points off the bench to pace a late-half surge by the Shockers to lead, 42-27 at the intermission.
The Shockers went to their bread-and-butter in the early going as Carl Hall notched WSU’s first five points. The Bears rallied back to lead 7-5 on a Marcus Marshall 3-pointer just over three minutes into the game, but WSU dropped three treys on consecutive possessions to lead 14-9 at the first media timeout.
The Bears battled back within one twice from there with a 3-pointer by Bruce Marshall making it 18-17 at the 11:15 mark and three free throws by Marcus Marshall making it a 21-20 contest at the 10:32 mark.
But it was all Shockers the rest of the way. WSU went on a 12-1 run over the next seven-plus minutes to lead 33-21. Christian Kirk broke a nine-minute MSU field goal drought with a hook shot at the 2:49 mark to draw the visitors within 33-23. But WSU ended the half with a 9-3 outburst, including a trey by Early, the seventh of the half for the home club.
The Bears return home to JQH Arena on Tuesday for a 7:05 p.m. tip against Indiana State (16-8, 9-4).
Story courtesy of MissouriStateBears.com