Bears and Shockers Locked in Classic MVC Tourney Battle at Half
ST. LOUIS -- A first half of eight ties and eight lead changes has Wichita State leading the Missouri State Bears by a 34-33 margin at the intermission in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals at Scottrade Center.
The No. 2-seeded Shockers jumped out of the gate to take a 13-7 lead less than five minutes into the game before the Bears went on a 9-1 run to go ahead 16-14 on a jumper by Kyle Weems with 10:55 remaining in the opening period.
From there, neither team led by more than two points until a layup by WSU's Demetric Williams at the 4:12 mark gave the Shockers a 28-25 advantage. But, a put-back by Kyle Weems and a three-pointer by the second-team All-MVC sophomore gave the lead back to Missouri State in the middle of a 6-0 run by the seventh-seeded Bears, 31-28.
The Bears would get a pair of free throws from Jermaine Mallett between a pair of WSU three-pointers to close out the half, including a trey by Graham Hatch with three seconds on the clock, to put Wichita State on top by one, 34-33, at the break.
Weems has a game-high 15 points for Missouri State to go with four rebounds, while Mallett has added 11 points. MSU is 10-for-30 (.333) from the field and 5-for-10 (.500) from three-point range, while making 8-of-10 af the free throw line.
Missouri State also owns an 18-15 rebounding advantage while committing just three first-half turnovers.
WSU was led by Garrett Stutz with 9 points, while the Shockers shot 13-for-25 (.520) from the field and 3-of-6 from three. Wichita was also 5-of-6 (.833) at the free throw line.
A spot in Saturday's 4:05 p.m. tournament semifinal is on the line with the winner to play the Illinois State-Indiana State winner.