WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Missouri State held off Wichita State 59-56 Sunday night to take sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Kyle Weems, Adam Leonard and Jermaine Mallett each had 11 points for Missouri State (13-3, 5-0), winners of seven straight. The Bears already have road wins at Northern Iowa, Creighton and Wichita State - the other teams joining Missouri State in the top four of the MVC preseason coaches' poll.
J.T. Durley had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Wichita State (13-3, 4-1), which saw its eight-game winning streak end.
Missouri State was able to maintain or even pad its double-digit lead for much of the second half. A Weems slam was followed by a Mallett 3-pointer for a 49-36 Bears advantage with 11:16 to play.
But a four-point Wichita State possession - Garrett Stutz converted a lay-in while being fouled, the Shockers rebounded his missed free throw and Durley posted up for another basket - helped the hosts make a charge.
After Missouri State's Will Creekmore tipped in a miss, a David Kyles steal and slam started a 13-2 run. The spurt was capped by a Gabe Blair jumper and a Durley tip-in that made it 54-53 Wichita State with 4 minutes remaining.
After a second Bears timeout within 2 minutes, Leonard drilled a baseline 3-pointer to put Missouri State back in the lead, 56-54.
It was 57-55 Bears in the final minute when Wichita State had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Toure Murry airballed a contested 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 33.1 seconds to play.
After the Bears' Nafis Ricks made 1 of 2 free throws, Wichita State called a timeout down 58-55 with 12.2 seconds remaining. This time, Murry threw a pass away with 2.7 seconds on the clock.
Missouri State had a great combination in the first half: It was thwarting the Missouri Valley's top offense and knocking down perimeter shots.
Demetric Williams came off the bench to give Wichita State a lone scoring threat in the first half. His baseline 3-pointer with 10:59 remaining in the first half gave the Shockers a 15-13 lead. Williams' 3-pointer 78 seconds later tied the score 18-18.
But that's when the Bears locked down Wichita State and took control with a 10-1 run that featured 3-pointers from Mallett and Leonard. Missouri State led 28-19, and Wichita State went 41/2 minutes without a field goal.
Even after Weems, the Bears' leading scorer, went to the bench with two fouls and 4:32 remaining in the half, Missouri State extended the lead behind seven points from Caleb Patterson. His 3-pointer was Missouri State's sixth of the half on 10 attempts and helped the Bears lead 35-24 at halftime.
Wichita State was 8 of 26 from the floor in the first half - 4 of 15 from inside the 3-point line - and had nine turnovers.