A 9-0 run late in the second half propelled Missouri State to a 68-59 road victory over Illinois State here Saturday, making MSU the first Missouri Valley Conference team with 20 Division I victories this season.

The Bears (20-6, 12-3 MVC) never trailed in the contest and responded to a flurry by the Redbirds following a timeout with just under eight minutes to play. A quick shot by John Wilkins brought ISU back with 49-46 with 7:48 to play, but that’s when MSU got going.

Will Creekmore scored four points, Adam Leonard knocked down a three-pointer, and Nathan Scheer scored a layup on a no-look pass from Creekmore during a four-minute stretch that build Missouri State’s advantage to 58-46.

Kyle Weems finished with a team-high 21 for Missouri State, which shot 65 percent from the field in the second half in helping his club claim its sixth MVC road win of the year. Creekmore added 16 points on a perfect night of shooting, including 6-of-6 from the field, while Nafis Ricks added 12 with 3 assists and a pair of steals.

The Bears have won 20 games for the second straight season for the first time since 2006-07.