WICHITA, Kan. -- 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 here Sunday.
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.
The win gives Missouri State sole possession of first place in the league and its first-ever 5-0 start in the MVC, while extending its overall winning streak to seven games.
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.
The Bears 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). Tickets are available by calling (417) 836-7678 or on-line at www.MissouriStateTix.com.