WICHITA, Kan. -- There is a three-team race in the Missouri Valley Conference, thanks to Indiana State.
The Sycamores knocked off No. 15 Wichita State 68-55 Tuesday at Koch Arena, dumping the Shockers (19-3, 8-2) into a tie for first with Creighton. Indiana State (14-7, 7-3) is one game behind as the schedule heads into the second half.
Wichita State trailed 50-48 with seven minutes remaining, and then its offense disappeared. The Shockers made six of 28 shots in the second half.
Manny Arop led the Sycamores with 17 points, including a layup that made it 56-50. Cleanthony Early topped Wichita State with 15 points.
Wichita State started the second half with a 7-0 run, aided by the crowd and mistakes by Indiana State. The Sycamores, looking rattled, missed their first five shots and then committed three turnovers. The Shockers cut Indiana State's lead to 39-35.
Indiana State survived that challenge, relying on a zone defense to slow the tempo and keep the Shockers out of the lane. The Sycamores led 50-43 before Wichita State rallied again to cut the deficit to 50-48.
The Sycamores set the stage for an upset with a strong finish to the first half. Down 25-24, they finished the half on a 15-3 run. R.J. Mahurin made the biggest play of the half, swishing a 3-pointer and drawing a foul. His four-point play gave Indiana State a 37-28 lead with 34.7 seconds to play.
Wichita State tried to play for the last shot. Like much in the first half, it didn't work. Indiana State's Khristian Smith stole a pass and scored for a 39-28 lead at halftime.
The Sycamores held Wichita State to 10-of-31 shooting in the first half, and Indiana State held a 17-15 rebounding advantage. Twelve points off offensive rebounds stunned the Shockers, who normally own that statistic.
Indiana State matched Wichita State's power on the backboards early in the game. The Sycamores scored six second-chance points on four offensive rebounds, helping them move ahead 18-15.
Indiana State's zone defense kept Wichita State off balance in the first half. The Shockers often went deep into the shot clock, probing the zone before ending up with a tough shot.