Shockers surge in second half to down Missouri State

Cleanthony Early had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead visiting Wichita State (18-2, 7-1 MVC) past Missouri State, 62-52, here Wednesday in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Bears (5-15, 3-5) dropped their fourth straight league game despite a career-high 21 points from Wichita native Gavin Thurman and 14 from Anthony Downing.


The victory for the 20th-ranked Shockers was anything but a cake walk. MSU scored the final 7 points of the first half to trail 25-21 at the break and then opened the second stanza with a 12-0 run. Thurman sparked both surges for the home club as he scored Missouri State's last 9 points of the opening period and then added 7 in the first four minutes after halftime.

Thurman's second trey of the night gave Missouri State a 33-25 advantage with 16:17 remaining before Early got the Shockers on the board with a 3-pointer of his own.  Downing then retaliated with a 20-foot jumper to put the home club ahead 35-28 with just over 15 minutes left in the contest.

The tides turned quickly from there. WSU would reel off 16 unanswered points over the span of five-and-a-half minutes to take a 44-35 lead just past the midway point of the half.

Freshman Dorrian Williams ended the six-minute dry spell for the maroon-clad Bears to make it a 44-38 game, and the Shockers' lead teetered between six and eight points until the 4:27 mark. That's when a layup by Carl Hall, who finished with 15 points off the bench, pushed Wichita's advantage back to double figures, 55-45, and a transition layup by Demetric Williams at the four-minute mark ran WSU's lead to 12.

Downing scored the Bears' last seven points in a two-minute span to keep the fight going, but the Shockers made 5-of-6 free throws in the clutch to seal the victory.

WSU made just 37.0 percent (20-for-54) of its shots, the club's second-lowest percentage of the season, and was 5-for-21 (.238) from long range. Gregg Marshall's club made 17-of-22 (.773) free throws, tallied 14 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over just nine times to overcome its third-lowest scoring total of the season.

Missouri State's field goal percentage rebounded after a 28-percent start in the first half to finish 19-for-58 (.328) for the game. MSU was just 5-for-21 (.238) from downtown and made 9 of the 10 charity shots it was awarded. The Bears were out-rebounded 39-32 overall but managed 13 offensive caroms.

MSU's freshmen accounted for 33 total points, including 2 by Drew Wilson who had a team-high 7 rebounds.  Thurman finished 8-for-17 from the field and led the club in scoring for the third straight night.

In the first half, MSU got three quick points from Christian Kirk out of the gates to build the early advantage, but the Shockers got to the foul line four times in the first four minutes to take a 4-3 lead, later extending their edge on a baseline right jumper by Demetric Williams.  Wilson's reverse layup brought the Bears back within one at the 12:44 mark, and later Marcus Marshall tied the game with a 3-pointer that made it 8-8 with 11:15 to play.

After a pair of free throws by Downing made it a 14-12 game with just over seven minutes left in the first half, the Shockers reeled off 10 unanswered points to lead 24-12. Thurman then took over, scoring the Bears' last nine points of the half in the span of five minutes, including a key 3-pointer, to make it 25-21 at the break.

The Bears will conclude a two-game home stand on Sunday at 2 p.m. when they host Drake (9-10, 3-5) in a nationally-televised game on ESPN3. Tickets for the rematch between MSU and Drake are available now at and starting at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena. Tickets are also available by phone at (417) 836-7678 during regular box office hours.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Walnut Grove Tigers

Catch the top photos from the 2013-14 Straff

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Strafford Indians

Catch the top photos from the 2013-14 Strafford Indians.

Pictures: 2nd Annual 1 Awards Banquet

Catch photos from the 2nd Annual 1 Awards Banquet.
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Oklahoma the right choice for Dorial Green-Beckham
Dorial Green-Beckham is now an Oklahoma Sooner. If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. Yes, DGB will have to sit out the entire 2014 season, something that he wouldn't have had to do had he transferred to a FCS or D-2, but is...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Ozark Conference 7v7 Football recap
For the third summer in a row Kickapoo hosted the Ozark Conference 7v7 Tournament. Here is a recap from the 3rd annual event. The Champs are here For the first time in the 3-year history of the Ozark Conference 7-on-7 Tournament someone...
Read More
The future is now for local soccer
We’re graduating a great crop of senior soccer players this spring. Anywhere from 15-25 will not only contend for all-state honors once the season is over, but also keep playing in college next school year. So, who replaces some of those top...
Read More
Most Viewed