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Missouri State takes down No. 21 Creighton

Dec 29, 2011 - 4:57 AM Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - Kyle Weems scored 25 of his career-high 31 points in the second half, as Missouri State opened Missouri Valley Conference play with a 77-65 win over No. 21 Creighton.

Anthony Downing added 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including a 4-of-6 effort from three-point range, for the Bears (8-5, 1-0 MVC), who halted a two- game skid. Jarmar Gulley chipped in 12 points and five boards.

Creighton, which was opening MVC play as a ranked team for the first time in program history, got 19 points from Doug McDermott. Antoine Young and Josh Jones added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Bluejays (10-2, 0-1).

"It's clear that the tougher team won," said Creighton coach Greg McDermott. "They were first to the floor. They were more aggressive on both ends of the floor."

Despite going 6-for-8 from beyond the arc in the opening half, Creighton held just a two-point lead at the break, as the Bears closed with a 5-0 run to make it 34-32. The back-and-forth pace continued until Weems and Downing took over late.

Trailing 51-50 midway through the second half, Weems sandwiched a pair of layups around a Downing trey, giving Missouri State a 57-51 lead. Creighton tied the contest, 57-57, on a pair of Ethan Wragge free throws, but Weems scored five points during a 7-0 run, as the Bears grabbed a 64-57 advantage -- one they would not relinquish.

With just under two minutes remaining, Young made it 68-65 with a layup, but Downing responded with a deep trey on the other end and Weems scored the game's final six points from the charity stripe to seal the win.

McDermott, who entered Wednesday as the nation's leading scorer (25.4 points per game), went just 8-of-18 from the field and saw his streak of 10 straight 20-point games come to an end.

Game Notes

Creighton leads the all-time series, 30-28...The Bluejays went 3-of-13 from beyond the arc in the second half...The Bears shot 55.2 percent from the floor after the break and hit 6-of-8 three-pointers.