SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Wichita State (17-0, 4-0) erased an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Missouri State 72-69 (12-4, 2-2) at the JQH Arena on Saturday night in what was their third largest crowd in history. This was also the Shockers’ first overtime game since Jan. 28, 2012 when they lost to Drake by a score of 93-86 in triple overtime.
Cleanthony Early led all Shocker scorers by scoring 22 points and adding 14 rebounds. Fred VanVleet had 16 points and four rebounds, while Ron Baker scored 15 points and had seven rebounds.
WSU shot 18-51 (35.3% from the floor), shot just 5-22 (22.7%) from the three-point line and grabbed 43 total rebounds. Missouri State made 24-59 (40.7%) from the field, including 10-27 (37%) from the three-point line.
The Shockers outrebounded Missouri State 43-35 while also winning the turnover battle. WSU had 11 turnovers, while Missouri State had 12.
Chadrack Lufile began the scoring for the Shockers with a layup as the shot clock was winding down on the first possession of the game. Ron Baker then hit a three on the Shockers’ next possession to give the Shockers an early 5-2 advantage.
Early then tipped in a basket after he rebounded his own missed shot. He stretched the Shocker lead to 7-2 at the 18:04 mark in the first half.
Lufile made the first of his two free throw attempts to extend the Shocker lead to 8-2, capping off their 6-0 run. Marcus Marshall of Missouri State hit a three-point shot to end the Shocker run and close the gap to 8-5 at the first media timeout.
A three by Austin Ruder, and a jumper by Calvin Thurman made the deficit just 13-10 at the second media timeout. Thurman made a three-point shot followed by another jumper to give the Bears a 15-13 lead while they were on a 10-1 run. Darius Carter made a jump shot to stem the run and tie the game at 15.
A three and a basket by Ruder, followed by two Marshall free-throws gave the Bears a 20-15 lead at the third media timeout of the first half. At this point, the Bears were on a 15-3 run.
Early made two free throws to close the Shockers’ deficit to 29-19, but a dunk by Tyler McCullough, and a three-point shot by Ruder extended the Bears’ lead to 32-19 at the 3:09 point. Another three by Marshall extended the Bears’ lead to 35-21 with 2:23 left in the first half.
The Shockers trailed 42-24 at the half in what was their largest deficit of the season due to a 15-7 run during the last 4:08 in the first by the Bears. Wichita State shot 8-22 from the field (36.4%) including just 2-10 (20%) from the three-point line. Missouri State shot 14-22 (63.6%) from the field including 8-14 (57.1%) from three.
Early led all Shocker scorers at the half by scoring eight points while Marshall led all scorers with 11.
The second-half scoring was opened by Early hitting a three. He later hit two more free-throws while Baker hit two free-throws of his own to get the Shockers on a quick 7-0 run. This cut the Shocker deficit to 42-31 with 17:12 left in the game.
Jarmar Culley of Missouri State hit a layup to end the Shocker run, but Lufile made a layup of his own to cut the Bears’ lead to 44-31. Culley made a jumper on the Bears’ next possession to extend their lead to 46-33 at the first media timeout of the second half.
The Bears would use a 12-4 run over the next 4:27 to extend their lead to 54-38 before a steal by Tekele Cotton and a dunk by Early cut the Shocker deficit to 54-41 with 10:11 left in the game. Baker then hit a three to cut the Bears’ lead down to 54-44 with 9:49 left.
WSU would use an 11-6 run to cut their deficit to 60-55, capped off by a Cotton jumpshot and two Baker free-throws.
Wichita State cut their deficit down to 64-63 with 47.7 seconds left by VanVleet making a three-point play. With just nine seconds left in the game, VanVleet would make one of two free-throws to tie the game at 64 and send the game into overtime.
VanVleet scored the first points of overtime by hitting both free throws with 3:24 left in overtime to give the Shockers a 66-64 lead. McCullough then made a basket to tie the game again at 66 apiece.
A driving left-handed layup by VanVleet gave the Shockers a 68-66 lead with 1:25 left in overtime. He and Early would seal the game for the Shockers with free throws to push the score to 72-69. Early stole the ball in the closing second of overtime to end the game and keep the Shockers’ record unblemished.
WSU’s next game will be against Bradley on Tuesday at 7 p.m. inside the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita. The game can also be seen on KS22.