KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - UMKC started to panic when Quinndary Weatherspoon scored five points within seconds to give Mississippi State the lead with just over three minutes to go.
But Martez Harrison remained calm.
“It’s really the confidence in my teammates,” Harrison said. “Coach just told me to go out there and play my game. … Just the moments I had were big moments.”
Harrison scored 21 points, Shayok Shayok 15 points and UMKC inched past Mississippi State 72-67 on Saturday.
Malik Newman scored 18 points and Gavin Ware and Craig Sword added 12 apiece for Mississippi State (4-4).
After a UMKC turnover, Weatherspoon swished a 3-pointer to give Mississippi State a 62-61 lead with 3:13 to go. On the inbounds pass, Weatherspoon stole the ball and his layup gave Mississippi State a three-point lead.
“We didn’t handle that situation very well,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said of the late three-point lead.
The Kangaroos’ Harrison responded with consecutive 3-pointers to give UMKC a three-point lead with one minute to play.
“I felt very confident we’d make something happen,” UMKC coach Kareem Richardson said.
Newman was fouled at the other end and made 1 of 2 free throws.
With 21 seconds to go, Harrison was fouled and made both free throws. Seven seconds later, Shayok added two more free throws to ensure the win.
“I feel good,” Shayok said, grinning, after the game. He was sidelined for all but eight games last season with a shoulder injury.
The game was tied 10 times and the lead changed hands 11 times.
“It’s a game of runs,” Harrison said. “We just had to come back and make ours.”
UMKC (6-4) led 31-29 at halftime, orchestrated in part by forward Kyle Steward, who scored nine points before intermission, and by Shayok, who pulled down six boards.
Newman drained a deep 3-pointer for Mississippi State three minutes into the second half to give the Bulldogs their first lead since four minutes remained in the first half.
A layup from Darnell Tillman evened the score a minute later.
With six minutes left, UMKC clung to a 55-53 lead. But a 3-pointer from Darius Austin paired with a layup from Harrison gave the Kangaroos a six-point lead with under five minutes remaining.
Mississippi State: Gavin Ware has scored at least 12 points in every game this season.
UMKC: The Kangaroos are 5-9 all-time against SEC teams.
UMKC’s Shayok Shayok scored a career-high 15 points. His previous best came against Missouri S&T on Nov. 19, 2014 when he scored 13.
Over the past two seasons, UMKC has walked away 2-0 against the SEC. In 2014, the ‘Roos went to Missouri and defeated the Tigers 69-61.
Mississippi State travels to Florida State on Wednesday.
UMKC hosts Rockhurst on Dec. 19.
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