Williams' Buzzer-Beater Leads Bears to Victory
Dec. 29, 2013
SPRINGFIELD -- A 3-pointer by Dorrian Williams at the buzzer lifted Missouri State (10-2) past visiting Southeast Missouri, 81-78, here Sunday afternoon in the non-conference finale for the Bears.
Marcus Marshall led MSU's efforts with 19 points, while Jarmar Gulley scored 15, and Emmanuel Addo added 11 points and a team-high 8 rebounds. SEMO (8-5) was led by Jarekious Bradley with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Stone added 22 points and 11 boards.
Williams' shot off the glass validated an otherwise-dominant performance by MSU as the home club pushed ahead 61-41 with 13:21 to play. A layup by Ron Mvouika and put-back by Keith Pickens gave the Bears their biggest lead of the game and had the Redhawks reeling into a called timeout.
SEMO came out of its huddle with a sense of urgency and answered with a 12-2 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes as a Bradley trey with 9:55 to go made it a 63-53 contest.
The Bears settled and seemed to find a solution to the increased Redhawks' pressure as another layup by Pickens and a put-back by Addo pushed MSU back ahead by 14 with just over seven minutes remaining. Later, back-to-back 3-pointers by Austin Ruder and Marshall cushioned MSU's advantage to 75-62 with 5:08 to play.
But Marshall's trey would be Missouri State's last field goal until Williams' buzzer-beater, and the visitors used a 14-2 run from there to pull within 77-76 with 19.8 seconds to go. The Redhawks went 4-for-4 at the line, collected 3-pointers from Antonius Cleveland and Bradley, and got a jumper by Bradley and a steal and layup by Jamaal Calvin to close the gap to one.
Missouri State got to the line on its second-to-last possession of the night as Marshall made the front end, but missed the second shot to make it a 78-76 game. SEMO's Bradley corralled the rebound and called a timeout with 14.8 seconds to play. The Redhawks came out of their final timeout with a play for Bradley who knocked down a contested 15-footer from the right baseline to tie the game with 3.3 ticks showing.
MSU then used its final timeout to set up the winning play as Williams took the inbound pass and dribbled through traffic to the top of the key where he fired home his only field goal of the night -- a 24-footer as he was fading left -- to help the Bears secure their eighth straight home victory.
The Bears overcame a season-high 16 turnovers, including 11 in the second half, and shot a respectable 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from the field and 8-of-20 (.400) from long range. MSU struggled at the line in the second half, making just 10-of-15 overall and 3-of-7 in the final 7:02, to finish 19-of-28 (.679) for the game.
Marshall was responsible for 5 MSU turnovers, but knocked down three 3-pointers and played 35 minutes to help keep the Bears together in the clutch. Williams dished out a game-high 5 assists in his 16 minutes of work, while Mvouika (9) and Addo (11) scored a point for every minute they played.
Southeast also go 17 points from Cleveland, while Bradley and Lucas Nutt contributed 4 assists each. Bradley scored four 3-point baskets to help the Redhawks finish 25-of-59 (.424) from the field and 10-of-21 (.476) beyond the arc. Dickey Nutt's squad was 13-of-17 at the line in the second half, including 9-of-10 down the stretch, to finish at .692 (18-of-26) for the game, with 14 turnovers.
It was the 143rd meeting between the two squads in a series that dates back to 1911.
Early in the first half, the Bears used a 15-1 run over a six-minute stretch to overcome an early three-point deficit. An up-and-under move to the basket by Mvouika with 8:42 remaining in the opening period gave Missouri State a 21-10 advantage at the time. Paul Lusk's troops would build that into a 13-point lead four times later in the half, including a 37-24 lead at the break.
MSU will now prepare for Missouri Valley Conference play, which begins Thursday against Illinois State (7-5) at JQH Arena with a 7:05 p.m. tipoff. Tickets are available at MissouriStateBears.com/tickets or at the MSU Athletics Box Office at (417) 836-7678 or during box office hours at the JQH Arena location. The box office will be open Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will re-open on game day, Jan. 2, at 10 a.m.