TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Manny Arop and Khristian Smith each scored 14 points, and Indiana State (14-3, 5-0) rolled past visiting Missouri State, 70-55, here Wednesday in Missouri Valley Conference play.
The Bears, who dropped a second straight game for the first time this season, were without the services of sophomore guard Marcus Marshall who underwent season-ending surgery earlier in the day to repair a severly torn meniscus. His absence and 14.3 points per game average were evident in the 15-point loss.
Jarmar Gulley led all scorers with 15 points for Missouri State, while Gavin Thurman and Devon Thomas added 9 apiece. Thomas also added 4 assists.
Indiana State got 10 assists from Jake Odum, including 9 in the first half, and finished an even 26-for-52 from the field with 7 3-pointers. The Bears out-rebounded the Sycamores by a 33-32 margin and committed just 10 turnovers.
After leading by a dozen at the intermission, Indiana State scored the first four points of the second half and took their biggest lead of the game to that point 43-27 less than three minutes into the second period. The Bears shifted to a zone defense and responded with a 7-0 run to climb back within 43-34 with just over 16 minutes to play.
owever, the momentum was short-lived, and ISU got 3-pointers from Arop and Odum as part of a 16-6 run over the next six minutes to take a commanding 19-point advantage into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The Bears would score six of the game’s final eight points to keep the final margin respectable, but finished 20-for-46 (.435) from the field and just 2-for-12 (.167) from long range with a season-low field goals beyond the arc.
In the first half, Indiana State shot 52 percent from the field and didn’t commit any turnovers to rush out to a 39-27 lead at the break.
The Sycamores led by as many as 14 at the 11:38 mark after Justin Gant reeled off 4 points in the span of two seconds and made it a 21-7 game. The Bears stormed back with a 20-12 run over the next eight minutes to cut the deficit to 33-27 after Thomas scored in transition with just under four minutes left in the opening period.
But ISU ended the first half with another offensive flurry as Arop scored in transition, Dawon Cummings dropped in a one-hander, and Arop knocked down a layup in the final seconds to push the home club back ahead by 12.
Missouri State will wrap its two-game league home stand Saturday at Noon against Northern Iowa (9-8, 3-2 MVC) in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU from the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. The Bears return to JQH Arena next Tuesday for a 7:05 p.m., assignment against Evansville.
Press Release Prepared by Missouri State Men’s Basketball