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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Sycamores Win At Nationally-Ranked Wichita State With Stellar Defensive Effort
Courtesy:ISU Athletics

Ace Hunt



WICHITA, Kan. -- For the first time in five tries, Indiana State has downed a nationally-ranked opponent this season as they downed MVC-leading No. 14/15 Wichita State 68-55 in front of a sold out crowd at Charles Koch Arena.


The Sycamores improved to 14-7, 7-3 MVC while Wichita State saw its 19-game home court winning streak end as they fell to 19-3, 8-2 MVC. ISU won at Wichita for the first time in eight tries (since 2004) and won on the road against a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time since at No. 25 Vanderbilt in December of 2011.


It marked the highest ranked opponent a Sycamore team has beaten since No. 14 Butler in 2006 and highest on the road since 1999 at No. 15 Indiana.


Arop led the team with 17 points, as he hit 7-of-11 shots from the field. He added six rebounds. Devonte Brown and Jake Odum each scored 10 points for the Sycamores. 


The Sycamores hit 24-of-45 shots from the field to shoot 53.3 percent. Wichita State was limited to 27.1 percent from the field (16-of-59). ISU held a 35-34 lead in rebounding for the contest.


Leading 58-51 with 3:08 remaining, the Sycamores faced the Wichita State pressure and were forced the call their third timeout of the game. After an empty possession, the Sycamore got a coveted defensive stop as the clock ticked towards two minutes remaining. Odum was fouled away from the ball, and hit both free throws to run the lead out to 60-51.


After a Wichita State 3-pointer was long, Odum hit a pair of free throws with 1:28 left to stretch the lead out to 62-51. Arop then got a steal and was fouled where he hit both free throws tom make it 64-51. The Sycamore scoring ended with a fastbreak dunk from Arop in the final two seconds for the 68-55 victory.


Wichita State hit a pair of 3-pointers to score on two of their first three trips down the floor and take a 6-0 advantage, but the Sycamores roared back to knot the contest with a trey from Manny Arop at the 18:09 mark and then a putback from RJ Mahurin as well as free throw by Devonte Brown.


The Sycamores used an 8-0 run to erase a 10-6 deficit, a spurt which was capped off a dunk by Justin Gant at the 12:08 mark to stake ISU to a 14-10 advantage. Each of the teams traded baskets as Arop hit a contested jumper at the 9:31 mark of the first half to give ISU the 18-15 cushion before Tekele Cotton hit a trey to knot the contest.


The Shockers ran their lead out to 25-22 on their fifth 3-pointer of the first half, but Khristian Smith answered with a pair of free throws to cut the Wichita State lead down to just a point with 4:12 remaining and then Brown converted the conventional 3-point play at the 3:47 mark to give ISU a 27-25 advantage.


Indiana State would score 17 of the final 20 point of the first half, including a key 11-0 run which was capped by a pair of free throws from Gant with 1:07 on the clock to stretch the lead out to 33-25. Fred Van Vleet hit the Shockers' sixth 3-pointer of the opening stanza to cut the Sycamore lead down to five points, but the Sycamores responded with the fourth four-point play of Mahurin's career with 32 seconds left to make it 37-28. 


The first half ended with a steal and breakaway lay-up from Khristian Smith with three seconds left to give the Sycamores a 39-28 halftime lead. Devonte Brown paced the Sycamores with eight points before the half while Arop had seven. Indiana State hit 15-of-25 shots from the field in the first half (60 percent) to take the lead into the locker room.


Wichita State would cut into the Sycamore lead to open the second half by scoring the first five points after the break to cut the lead down to 39-33 with 18:25 on the clock. 


The Shockers went on to score the first seven of the second half to whittle the ISU lead down to just four points but Dawon Cummings stopped the bleeding with a trey and then Arop hit a tough jumper in the paint to stretch the lead back out to 44-35 with 14:52 on the clock.


Malcolm Armstead hit the Shocks eighth 3-pointer of the game, but Cummings continued his hot shooting with a jumper in the paint at the 13:00 minute mark to stretch the cushion back out to 46-38. Arop went on to hit another jumper at the lead grew to 48-38 with 10:36 remaining.


Wichita State cranked up the full court press and scored eight of the next 10 points to trim the ISU lead down to 50-48 with just over seven minutes to go. Odum stopped the bleeding as he was fouled and hit both free throws with 6:30 remaining to run the lead back out to 52-48. Odum then hit running jumper at the 5:53 mark to make it 54-48.


Once again the Shockers cut the ISU lead down to four points, but Manny Arop got a long rebound and went coast-to-coast with 4:06 remaining to make it 56-50. Brown then got a steal and hit another fast break lay-up as the clock ticked under four minutes to go for the 58-50 lead.


Indiana State returns to action on Saturday, February 2 when they stay on the road to battle Drake inside the Knapp Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised live on Fox Sports Indiana and ESPN3 on the MVC TV Network.

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