KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kyle Weems scored 18 points and Jermaine Mallett added 17 as Missouri State beat Arkansas State 80-71 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday night.
The teams traded the lead 13 times and tied three times before Mallett hit a jumper followed by a 3-pointer to launch an 8-2 run. The Bears slowly pulled away and led by 24 points with 6:05 left.
That’s when back-to-back 3-pointers by Daniel Bryant helped launch a 20-0 Arkansas State run, and a dunk by Brandon Peterson cut the margin to 71-65 with 3:04 left to play. But it was too little too late.
Missouri State (2-0) hit 21 of 25 free throws. Will Creekmore had 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bears.
Bryant led the Red Wolves (0-2) with 20 points.
Missouri State advances to play either Belmont or No. 24 Tennessee, who were to play later Tuesday.