After Wichita State (13-3, 4-1) overcame a 13-point Missouri State lead in the second half, a three-pointer by senior Adam Leonard at the 3:39 mark put the Bears up for good in a 59-56 victory.
Missouri State (13-3, 5-0) got 11 points apiece from Leonard, Kyle Weems and Jermaine Mallett to win at Koch Arena for the first time since 2007 before 10,506 fans in the nationally-televised contest.
After building a 35-24 lead at the intermission, MSU stayed the course, fighting off a number of Shockers’ runs in the second stanza.
Up 44-36 at the 13:09 mark, and WSU rallying, Weems took a great pass from Mallett to the rack for a two-handed dunk to build the lead back to double figures.
Later, Nathan Scheer knocked down a pair of clutch free throws with 9:30 to go after WSU trimmed the lead back to eight after a 7-2 Wichita run.
The 53-43 lead after Scheer’s charity shots was followed by an 11-0 Wichita State run to give the home club a 54-53 lead with exactly four minutes to play. That’s when Leonard knocked down the key three from the right corner, and the Bears made 3-of-6 free throws and held Wichita State without a field goal in the final 2:26 to seal the win.
MSU was 22-for-55 (.400) from the field and 8-of-16 (.500) from beyond the arc. The Bears were out-rebounded 40-32 and matched a season high with 15 turnovers, but forced 16.
The Shockers were led by J.T Durley with 11 points, while Toure Murry had a game-high 11 rebounds. WSU was 21-for-51 (.412) and 4-of-15 (.267) from three-point range.
Missouri State ended the first half on a 17-6 run to lead Wichita State, 35-24, at the intermission.
Sparking the run for the Bears was junior Caleb Patterson who scored MSU’s last seven points during the run, including the team’s sixth and final three-pointer of the half. Kyle Weems also has nine points for MSU.
The Bears, now the only undefeated team in MVC play, host Southern Illinois on Wednesday at JQH Arena at 7:05 p.m., as they put a 17-game home winning streak on the line against SIU (9-7, 3-2).
Story courtesy of Missouri State Athletics.