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Sycamores Down Missouri State

January 16, 2014


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State used a balanced scoring distribution and a solid defensive effort to down visiting Missouri State by the score of 70-55 in front of 5,895 fans inside Hulman Center.


The Sycamores won their seventh consecutive game -- its longest winning streak since 2005-06 -- to improve to 14-3, 5-0 MVC. It is the latest the Sycamores have remained unbeaten in league play since going a perfect 16-0 during the 1978-79 campaign. Indiana State is also now a perfect 7-0 at home. Missouri State fell to 12-5, 2-3 MVC.


A trio of Sycamores each scored 14 points to lead the offensive attack. Manny Arop tallied 14 points on the strength of a 6-of-10 shooting performance to go with five rebounds and two steals. Dawon Cummings added a pair of 3-pointers and also went 6-of-10 from the field to score 14 points with four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Khristian Smith came off the bench to score 14 points and added six rebounds. Demetrius Moore tallied a career-high 12 points to go with a game-best seven rebounds.


Jake Odum recorded 10 assists in the contest. He now had 536 for his career -- just 15 shy of moving into second place all-time at Indiana State behind rick Fields. He also now has 1,334 career points which is 11th at Indiana State and only 13 away from cracking the Sycamore Top 10.


The Sycamores went 27-of-56 from the field (48.2 percent) while Missouri State was limited to 42.9 percent shooting. Missouri State held a slim 33-32 edge in the rebounding battle but the Sycamores were ahead 14-9 in second-chance points. Indiana State committed only six turnovers in the contest and forced 10 to hold a 13-2 edge in points off turnovers.


Missouri State held a quick 2-0 lead off a jumper from Jarmar Gulley but Cummings answered with a 3-pointer for a 3-2 edge that Indiana State would hold the rest of the contest. Demetrius Moore drilled his first 3-pointer for the season to stretch the advantage out to 6-2 before a Gulley jumper drew the Bears within a possession.


Cummings hit his second early trifecta for a 9-4 lead and then Gulley scored his sixth consecutive point to make it 9-6 with 15:56 gone in the opening half. ISU then rattled off the next eight points, capped by a Smith jumper with 12:58 remaining for a 17-6 lead. The Sycamore cushion grew to as large as 21-7 at the 11:41 mark on a pair of free throws from Smith.


Missouri State whittled the Sycamore lead down to 28-20 at the 6:57 mark but the Sycamores scored five in a row including a 3-pointer from Brandon Burnett to make it 33-20 with 6:08 remaining before the break. Arop tallied a runner in the paint with six seconds on the clock for a 39-27 Sycamore advantage at the half.


Smith hit a jumper to open the scoring in the second half for a 41-27 lead and then Arop added a lay-up at the 17:44 mark to stretch the lead out to 43-27. The Bears would go on a 7-0 run before a pair of Moore charity tosses stretch the lead out to 45-334 and then Arop buried a trifecta to make it 48-34 with 14:55 remaining.


The Sycamore lead would swell to as many as nine points on seven different occassions in the second half, including a jumper in the paint by Cummings for a 70-51 lead late. The Bears scored the final four points of the game as the Indiana State earned the 70-55 victory.


The reigning Missouri Valley Conference Player Of The Week, Jamar Gulley, was the lone Bear to reach double figures with his 16-point performance.


The Indiana State victory sets up a showdown at No. 5 Wichita State (17-0, 5-0 MVC) on Saturday, January 18. The Sycamores have won each of their last three matchups against nationally-ranked foes and it will be the highest ranked opponent the Sycamores have faced since No. 6 Tulsa in 1981. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. (ET) and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

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