Wichita State shuts down Missouri State
Springfield, MO (Sports Network) - Cleanthony Early had 17 points and 11 rebounds as No. 20 Wichita State overcame a poor shooting performance to rally past Missouri State, 62-52, at JQH Arena.
Carl Hall followed with 15 points and six boards for the Shockers (18-2, 7-1 MVC), who shot just 37 percent from the floor to earn their third straight victory.
Gavin Thurman scored a game-high 21 points and Anthony Downing netted 14 for Missouri State (5-15, 3-5), which dropped its fourth consecutive game with just an equally abysmal shooting night, connecting on just 32.8 percent of its shots.
Missouri State trailed, 25-14, with less than five minutes remaining in the first half, but then closed out the frame with a 7-0 run before carrying that momentum into the second half with 12 straight points to jump ahead, 33-25.
The rest of the game, however, belonged to the Shockers, as an Early 3-pointer sparked a 19-2 run that put Wichita State back on top for good, 44-35.
The Bears never got closer than six over the final nine-plus minutes as Wichita State held on for the win.
Wichita State was held without a basket for nearly five minutes until Demetric Williams followed four straight foul shots by Tekele Cotton and Hall with a jumper for a 6-3 lead.
But the Shockers' offense would remain cold from there as Cotton's jumper a little over three minutes later accounted for Wichita State's only other shot from the floor over the opening nine-plus minutes.
Missouri State did not fare much better, though, making just three of its first 12 shots from the floor, and Early's basket with 10:21 to play in the first half gave the Shockers an 11-8 lead as Wichita State used a 5-for-6 performance from the foul line to stay in the game.
The Shockers then found their offense a bit later as Early and Hall combined to put together a 10-2 run and hand Wichita State a 25-14 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first half.
The all-time series between the teams is now tied at 30-30 ... Wichita State went 17-for-22 at the foul line ... Missouri State made 9-of-10 free-throw attempts ... The Shockers held a 39-32 advantage on the glass.
01/23 22:41:13 ET