SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Indiana State junior guard Jake Odum paced the Sycamores with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but ISU could not overcome a 14-point deficit in the second half and the rally fell short 67-65 in front of 5,255 fans inside the JQH Arena.
ISU fell to 16-9, 9-5 MVC while Missouri State improved to 8-18, 6-8 MVC. The Sycamores are now one half game behind both Creighton and Wichita State for first place in the conference as both those teams play tomorrow.
The Sycamores hit 22-of-57 shots from the field (38.6 percent) despite a hot start of the gate. ISU owned seven blocked shots in the game, which marked the ninth consecutive game they have more blocks than the opposition.
Manny Arop joined Odum in double figures as he scored 15 points, hitting 5-of-7 shots from the field, including a 3-of-4 mark from 3-point range.
Indiana State was 13-of-14 from the free throw line, while MSU was 20-of-28.
Marcus Marshall hit a pair of free throws after Indiana State used a 7-0 run to cut a 12-point Missouri State lead down to just 57-50 before Arop hit two free throws of his own as the clock ticked under four minutes to go. The Bears threw the ball away with 3:27 to go and Odum was fouled in the paint with 3:18 remaining. Odum hit both free throws to inch closer at 57-54.
After MSU hit a free throw to stretch the lead back out to 58-54 with 2:51 remaining, Lucas Eitel hit a trey to make it 58-57 and force a Missouri State timeout at the 2:25 mark. Keith Pickens ran the lead back out to 60-57 with 2:15 to go before Odum hit a pair of free throws with 1:47 left to once again get the Sycamores within a point at 60-59.
Both teams had empty possessions before Anthony Downing hit two charity tosses in the lane with 54 seconds left to extend the lead out to 62-59. Odum missed a runner in the lane and Scheer hit two more free throws with 43 seconds left to set the Sycamores behind 64-59. Gant's second chance jumper with 28.8 seconds left cut the MSU lead down to 64-61.
The Bears hit 1-of-2 free throws with 16 seconds left but Odum answered with a lay-up at the 10 second mark to cut the Bear lead down to 65-63. MSU hit a pair of free throws and Mahurin drained a last second lay-up to fall 67-65.
Manny Arop hit 3-pointers on two of the first three Sycamore possessions to stake Indiana State to a quick 6-0 advantage. After Missouri State answered with five in a row, the Sycamores went on a 7-0 run which began with a pair of Odum free throws, continued with a Justin Gant 3-pointer at the death of the shot clock and concluded with an 18-foot jumper by Arop at the 14:24 mark to give the Sycamores a 13-5 advantage.
Odum would hit a 3-pointer a the 11:37 mark to run the lead out to 18-11 and Devonte Brown hit a runner in the paint with 9:39 on the clock to make it 20-14. The Bears would go on to score the game's next four points until RJ Mahurin stopped the bleeding with just under seven minutes left before the break to stretch the advantage out to 22-18.
A pair of free throws by Keith Pickens with 8:24 remaining cut the ISU lead down to just 22-20, but Odum scored on consecutive possessions to run the cushion back out to six points at 26-20 with 4:54 on the clock.
Missouri State scored five points in a row to cut the Indiana State lead down to 26-25 before Gant recorded a second-chance jumper at the 2:57 mark of the first half for a 28-25 advantage. The Sycamores did not score against in the first half and the Bears scored four in a row, including a jumper by Anthony Downing with 27 seconds left to give Missouri State its first lead of the game at 29-28. Odum missed a jumper at the buzzer on the Sycamores' final possession of the half.
Indiana State scored twice in the first three minutes of the second half to cut the MSU lead back down to one point twice but the Bears rattled off six in a row on back-to-back 3-pointers by Nathan Scheer, the second of which at the 15:51 mark which stretched the Bear advantage out to 39-32. Odum was forced to miss nearly two minutes of game time during this stretch as he was whistled for three fouls early after the break.
Missouri State ran its lead out to 14 points, before Lucas Eitel 3-pointer at the 8:01 mark cut the advantage down to 53-42. After a Missouri State basket, the Sycamores went on a big 7-0 run quickly on four points by Odum sandwhiched around an Arop 3-pointer and defensive five-second call. ISU found itself down just 55-50 with 4:24 to go.
The Bears were led in scoring by 19 points from Marcus Marshall. He was one of three Bears to reach double figures scoring.
Indiana State returns to action on Saturday, February 16 when they travel to Bradley for another MVC road contest in Peoria, Ill. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. (ET).