Missouri State upsets No. 21 Creighton 77-65
OMAHA, Neb.—Kyle Weems scored 25 of his career-high 31 points in the second half, Anthony Downing scored a career-high 26 and Missouri State opened defense of its Missouri Valley Conference title with a 77-65 upset of No. 21 Creighton on Wednesday night.
Downing's 23-footer as the shot clock ran out with 1:11 left gave the Bears (8-5, 1-0) a six-point lead.
Jarmar Gulley had 12 points for the Bears.
National scoring leader Doug McDermott finished with 19 points for Creighton (10-2, 0-1) but he only made one free throw after his 3-pointer with 10:39 left gave the Bluejays a short-lived 51-50 lead. McDermott had his streak of 20-point games end at 10.
Antoine Young added 13 points and Josh Jones had 11 for Creighton.
Missouri State won for the first time in six road games against ranked teams
Preseason MVC favorite Creighton lost at home as a ranked team for the first time in 19 games since 1975.
The game was billed as a matchup between Weems, the reigning MVC player of the year and the preseason favorite to win the award again, against McDermott.
The two played to a draw in the first half, with each scoring six points.
McDermott and Weems battled back and forth the first 10 minutes of the second half, then Weems took over.
He scored 17 points in the last 10 minutes while McDermott struggled to even get shots.
Ethan Wragge's two free throws tied it at 57 with 6:55 left and got the crowd on its feet. Grant Gibbs could have given the Bluejays the lead after he made a steal and got fouled. But he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and Michael Bizoukas went the length of the court for a left-handed layup to give the Bears the lead for good.
Missouri State frustrated McDermott most of the game, taking away passing lanes and clogging the inside whenever he touched the ball. He was just 8 of 18 from the field. He did have a game-high 12 rebounds.
Weems, by comparison, has had a quiet start to the season. He came in averaging 14.3 points, shooting just 39 percent from the field and with three 20-point games.