Wichita State clinches share of MVC title
Wichita, KS – Garrett Stutz's double-double of 21 points and 58 win over Missouri State season title on Wednesday.
Ben Smith had 14 points and David Kyles scored 12 for the Shockers (23-4, 14-2 MVC), who have won 13 of their last 14 games.
Wichita State claimed a 12-1 edge in points from the foul line, as the Bears attempted only two free throws.
Anthony Downing paced Missouri State (16-12, 9-7) with 17 points, while Caleb Patterson contributed 14 points in a reserve role.
The Bears had won three straight since losing to Wichita State on February 1.
Wichita State led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Missouri State closed the gap to 34-32 at the break.
"We played better than OK (offensively) but we weren't great defensively in the first half," said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. "I told the team, if we don't play really well they're going to hang around and we're going to leave it up to other factors instead of how we play."
The Shockers then opened the second half on a 7-0 surge. Stutz converted consecutive baskets and Demetric Williams drained a three-pointer.
After its lead was trimmed to two, Wichita State went up by double-digits again when a Kyles layup made it 49-39 with 12:37 remaining.
The advantage reached as high as 19 inside the final two minutes.
"It seemed like they could do whatever they wanted to do out there," said Missouri State coach Paul Lusk. "I don't care what the score was at halftime, any time we surged they turned it up a level."
Wichita State is back in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time since December 26, 2006...The Shockers improved to 14-1 at home this season...Wichita State's Gregg Marshall earned his 299th career coaching win...The Bears fell to 6-20 all-time against ranked teams...Kyle Weems scored 10 points for Missouri State.