Wichita's Three-Pointer in Final Seconds Tops Bears, 62-61
A three-pointer by freshman Toure' Murry with 5.1 seconds remaining lifted Wichita State over Missouri State, 62-61, at Koch Arena in Wichita on Tuesday night in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Murry, who finished with a game-high 23 points, came off a screen on the right wing to hit the game-winner, but MSU wasted no time inbounding the ball in the final moments. Senior Spencer Laurie then drove the length of the floor only to narrowly miss a layup before the horn as the Shockers escaped with a comeback home win.
The Bears shot season-bests 58.3 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from three, but came up short at the free throw line with just 10 makes in 19 attempts (.526), including 3-of-7 in the final 3:25.
MSU (10-15, 3-11 MVC) got 15 points from Chris Cooks and Kyle Weems, while Laurie scored 11 along with Wade Knapp.
The Bears, who led 31-29 at halftime, blew their second halftime lead in as many games and were outrebounded 30-20 with 16 turnovers.
Wichita's comeback spoiled a gritty effort by Cuonzo Martin's team. In a game that saw eight ties and five lead changes, the Bears overcame a 7-0 Shockers run to start the second half with a 12-4 run of their own. Laurie hit back-to-back three-pointers with 12:43 to play to put the Bears up 43-40.
Later Clevin Hannah tied the game 47-47 on a three-pointer for the Shockers with 7:45 to go before Cooks took over with three-pointers on three straight Bears possessions as MSU built its advantage to 56-50 with 6:01 to go.
After Wade Knapp's layup at the 4:07 mark gave MSU a 58-51 lead, the Bears would not make another field goal and connected on just three free throws in seven attempts down the stretch. Despite the charity line woes, Cooks did make the front end of a two-shot opportunity with 19.6 seconds to play to give the Bears a 61-59 lead. The Shockers called timeout with 13.9 seconds on the clock and set up a play for Murry to win the game.
Wichita (12-13, 6-8) shot 45.3 percent in the game and 9-of-11 (.818) from the free throw line. The Shockers were just 4-for-16 from three-point range prior to Murry's game-winning shot.
The Bears led 25-13 at the 6:32 mark of the first half, only to have the homestanding Shockers reel off 14 of the next 16 points to tie the game, 27-27.
Kyle Weems then scored MSU's next four points, including a short jumper and a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in the half to help the Bears to a 31-29 halftime advantage.
The Bears return home Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against Indiana State (5-19, 3-10) on Great Southern Bank panoramic poster night.