National Basketball Association
Wichita St. 86, Missouri St. 67
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: JQH Arena, Springfield, Missouri
# Jeff Campbell, # Terry Davis, # Brad Ferrie
No. 25 Wichita State is taking the Missouri Valley Conference's most imposing offense into the conference tournament. The Shockers proved it again on Saturday in the regular-season finale to wrap up a share of the title.
The Shockers defeated Missouri State 86-67 win at JQH Arena to earn their fourth consecutive MVC title and fifth in the last six seasons.
Most of those teams did it with great defense and efficient offenses that grabbed the spotlight on occasion. This team puts up 80 points routinely and that's something new.
Coach Gregg Marshall, 19 seasons in as a coach known for physical defense and rebounding, isn't afraid to express his affection for this team's ability to roll the scoreboard.
"I think this may be my best offensive team," Marshall said. "We have so many different weapons at any given time on the floor. So many guys that can hurt you."
Wichita State (27-4, 17-1 in the MVC) finished in a tie with Illinois State, but the Redbirds will earn the top seed in the conference tournament because of their edge in the tiebreaker of RPI rank. Illinois State entered the day No. 33, nine spots ahead of Wichita State.
Freshman guard Landry Shamet scored a career-high 23 points for the Shockers. Junior center Shaq Morris added 18 points.
While conference titles can be under-valued compared to the NCAA Tournament, this group of Shockers felt pressure to extend the success from the Ron Baker-Fred VanVleet era that ended last season.
"We didn't want to be that team that fell off," Shamet said.
Wichita State made 11 of 26 3-point shots, including 8 of 16 in the second half. It finished with 20 assists and five turnovers.
"The numbers have been off the chain recently, with the way we've been shooting it," Marshall said. "We're very unselfish, to boot."
Missouri State (16-15, 7-11) ended the season with losses in six of seven games. The Bears appear to be locked in as the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.
Senior guard Dequon Miller led the Bears with 19 points, 13 in the second half. Senior forward Alize Johnson added 18.
The Bears missed 12 of their 16 3-pointers. Eleven offensive rebounds helped them stay close and they converted those into 10 points.
"The results didn't end up the way we wanted them, but we're going to make this run down at Arch Madness," Johnson said. "We probably don't have anybody who believes in us but us, but we've got to stay tight and hang in there."
Missouri State used a zone defense to slow the pace and fight off fatigue against the deeper Shockers. It kept the Bears within double-digits most of the game, but they never led and trailed by eight or more points the final 11 minutes.
"They do what they do, they wore us down," Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said. "They had some guys who made some big shots. Big shot-makers."
The Bears took their final shot with a 10-3 run that cut Wichita State's lead to 50-46 and forced a Marshall timeout. Miller scored seven of those points, going back-to-back from 3-point range with sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow to complete the burst.
It did not take long for the Shockers to respond with a 15-6 run to go up 65-52 with 8:23 remaining. Shamet made two 3-pointers during that run and sophomore forward Markis McDuffie grabbed his airball for a putback.
That forced a Bears timeout and appeared to sap their energy.
The Shockers ran more than a minute off the clock during a possession that feature four Bears fouls. It ended with Rashard Kelly's basket for a 70-54 lead with 5:57 to play.
The Shockers built leads of 10 points and nine twice, but couldn't sustain that momentum.
Morris scored 12 first-half points, making his first four shots, for Wichita State.
Missouri State, playing zone defense, tried to cover him with a single defender. Shamet scored nine first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting.
The Shockers made 15 of 28 shots in the first half, missing 7 of their 10 3-point shots.
Johnson led the Bears with eight first-half points.
Missouri State grabbed four offensive rebounds in the first half, leading to two putbacks, and made 12 of 28 shots.
NOTES: Wichita State defeated the Bears for the 14th straight time, its longest streak in the series. ... Missouri State finished the regular season with a winning record for the second time in coach Paul Lusk's six seasons. He has yet to record an MVC record better than 9-9. ... The Shockers clinched their share of the MVC title in the arena where a loss to Missouri State denied them a share of the 2011 title. ... Landry Shamet's career-high 23 points topped his previous best of 21 against South Dakota State. ... Shaq Morris made all four of his free throws and is 46 of 54 in 18 MVC games.
Top Game Performances
Landry Shamet 23
Dequon Miller 19
Conner Frankamp 5
Jarred Dixon 3
Landry Shamet 8
Alize Johnson 12
Shaquille Morris 4
||Free Throws Made
Alize Johnson 6
Zach Brown 3
Jordan Martin 1
Darral Willis Jr. 2
Obediah Church 1
Team Stats Summary