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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Strong Second Half Propels Indiana State Past Missouri State 68-60
Courtesy:ISU Athletics

Blaine Kinsey




TERRE HAUTE, Ind.— Despite never leading in the first half, the Indiana State basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to defeat Missouri State, 68-60, Wednesday in front of 5,593 fans inside Hulman Center.


The Sycamores improved to 11-6, 4-2 MVC while Missouri State fell to 5-13, 3-3 MVC.


With the win the Sycamores improved to 35-2 under head coach Greg Lansing when holding their opponents to 63 points or less.


Four different Sycamores reached double figure scoring. Arop, Gant, Devonte Brown, and Dawon Cummings all recorded 10 points in the contest.


All nine of the Sycamore players that recorded minutes in the game scored points, marking the third time this season the team has accomplished the feat. Junior guard Jake Odum also moved up to eighth place all-time at ISU in assists with 372.


The Sycamores shot a season-best 57.1 percent from the field (24-of-42) against the Bears as the team dished out 15 assists, paced by five from Odum. ISU hit 61.9 percent of their shots in the second half (13-of-21). Justin Gant was 5-of-7 from the field.


Indiana State has won four of the last five meetings at home against Missouri State and are 7-3 in their last 10 meetings with the Bears -- its best run since an 8-2 spurt from 1970-1992.


It was a slow start offensively for the Sycamores who found themselves trailing the Bears 11-4 early in the first half. The Sycamores used a balanced scoring attack to chip away at the Bears lead to cut it to one at 17-16 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half.


Indiana State shared the ball extremely well to open the game with seven different Sycamores scoring over the first 12 minutes of the game. 


With just over four minutes remaining in the first half the Sycamore defense came to life, forcing a Bears shot clock violation. However, the Bears capitalized on back-to-back Sycamore turnovers to extend their lead to 27-18. A RJ Mahurin basket and a Lucas Eitel threy brought the Sycamores right back and forced a Missouri State timeout with the Indiana State trailing the Bears 27-23.


At halftime the Sycamores trailed the the Bears of Missouri State 31-27. Eight different Sycamores recorded points and shot 52% from the floor in the first half of play.


After not leading in the first half, the Sycamores scored on their first three possessions of the second half off a Justin Gant bucket, Mahurin 3-pointer and Odum free throws, to tie the game at 34-34 for the first time since 0-0. 


Junior Dawon Cummings then gave Indiana State its first lead of the game with a three-pointer and Odum steal and fast break layup gave the Sycamores a 12-5 run and forced a Missouri State timeout with ISU leading 39-36 with just under 16 minutes left to play.


Following the media timeout, junior Many Arop continued the Sycamore run with three straight baskets off a jumper in the paint and a three-pointer as the shot clock expired after a Missouri State free throw.


Late in the second half, both teams offense's went through a three-minute scoring drought before Arop broke through with a layup to make him the first Sycamore to reach double figures with 10 points.


The Sycamores jumped out to an 11 point lead, their largest of the game, with just under five minutes to play at 56-45 off a Gant layup.


Despite a brief Missouri State run in the final minutes, the Sycamores held on to defeat the Bears by a final score of 68-60.


The Sycamores will return to action Saturday when they host the Purple Aces of Evansville at 8:05 p.m. (ET).

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