SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Cleanthony Early scored 17 points, Carl Hall added 15 and No. 20 Wichita State rallied for a 62-52 victory over Missouri State on Wednesday night.
Missouri State, behind freshman Gavin Thurman, used a 19-1 run to take a 33-25 lead with 16:13 remaining in the game.
The Shockers came away empty on their first five possessions of the second half then Early and Hall got more active in the offense, scoring all but two of the points in a 16-2 run that gave Wichita State a 41-35 lead with 10:53 to go.
The Shockers (18-2, 7-1 Missouri Valley Conference), who were playing just days after upsetting then-No. 12 Creighton, remained in first place in the conference.
Thurman had 21 points to lead Missouri State (5-15, 3-5), which lost its fourth straight before a crowd of 6,448.
It was the third straight win for the Shockers, who were supposed to be in a rebuilding year after winning the conference regular-season title a year ago.
The Shockers won again without two injured starters, Ron Baker (foot) and Evan Wessel (hand). It was Hall’s third game back since he missed seven games because of a broken thumb on his shooting hand.
Missouri State trailed by 12 points with about 5:15 left before halftime, but Thurman took over game’s next 9 minutes to take a 33-25 lead.
Thurman made two free throws and later hit a jumper after a timeout, got a steal before knocking down a 3-pointer and scored on a tip-in.
Wichita State made 20 of 54 shots (37 percent) and won despite making only 5 of 21 3-pointers.
The Shockers were 17 of 22 at the free throw line.
Missouri State, plagued by foul problems by its starters, made 19 of 58 (32 percent) from the field.