Wichita State (18-4) at Missouri State (13-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 1st, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: JQH Arena (11,000) -- Springfield, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: Wichita State 10-1, Missouri State 7-4. Away Record: Wichita State 6-1, Missouri State 6-4. Neutral Record: Wichita State 2-2, Missouri State 0-2. Conference Record: Wichita State 9-2, Missouri State 6-5. Series Record: Missouri State leads, 30-27.
GAMES NOTES: Wichita State and Missouri State will square off for the first time this season in a Missouri Valley Conference tilt at JQH Arena.
Wichita State did everything it could to extend an eight-game winning streak, but fell just short in a triple overtime thriller at Drake (93-86). The loss is only the second in MVC play for the Shockers, who are now 9-2 and second behind only No. 13 Creighton in the standings. Wichita State will begin a two game homestand on Saturday against Indiana State.
Missouri State has won two of its last three games after dropping three straight in mid-January. The Bears are now 6-5 in the MVC which is tied with four other teams for third in the conference. Next up for Missouri State will be a road contest against Drake.
Missouri State won both of last season's meetings to give it some separation in the all-time series, which the Bears now lead by a 30-27 margin.
Although it took three overtime periods to do so, Wichita State has now scored at least 85 points in three straight games and more than 70 in six straight. The Shockers are now averaging 78.2 points per game which is the second highest mark in the MVC behind only Creighton. It is also the 20th best mark nationally. Garrett Stutz and Joe Ragland both had fantastic nights in the overtime loss. Stutz, a senior center for the Shockers, poured in a game-high 27 points to raise his team-leading scoring average to 13.6 points per game. Ragland had 25 points and is now second on the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game. Ragland also dished out six assists in the game which tied a season- high. Toure' Murry, a senior guard, had his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Murry is the third player scoring in double figures this season at 12.5 points per game. Stutz has also been a reliable rebounder for the Shockers bringing down 7.5 per game, which leads a squad that leads the conference in the category at 38.6 per contest.
Missouri State has been a less successful team on offense, scoring only 67.9 points per game, but keeps opponents to just 62.7 per contest for a scoring differential of +5.2. The team showed just how good a defense it can play when it took down Northern Iowa 63-51 on Saturday. Missouri State held the Panthers to just 37.7 percent shooting in allowing the fewest points of the season to a MVC opponent. Senior forward Kyle Weems had a 20 point, 10-rebound double- double in the recent win and is one of the best frontcourt players in the conference, averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Weems has been in double figures in every game this season since he was held to just four in an opening night win over Nevada. Senior center Caleb Patterson is Weems' battery mate on the inside scoring 12.7 points per game but failing to be effective on the boards at just 3.0 rebounds per game. Weems and Patterson are flanked by a pair of double-digit scorers on the perimeter. Junior Anthony Downing (11.0 ppg) is the first option with junior Jamar Gulley (10.9 ppg) just behind. The Bears also have the conference's leading passer in Michael Bizoukas, who dishes out 6.1 assists per game.
Missouri State has already shown that it can beat the top competition in the MVC with an upset victory over Creighton on the road earlier this season. With Wichita State reeling after a tough triple-overtime loss, the Shockers enter hostile territory primed for an upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri State 71, Wichita State 67
02/01 10:47:24 ET