CEDAR FALLS, IOWA Nathan Bilyeu scored 19, and Dale Lamberth added 12, helping Missouri State upset No. 25 Northern Iowa, 66-63, Saturday.
Drew Richards added career highs of 10 points and nine rebounds for Missouri State (16-7, 9-6 Missouri Valley Conference), which shot 49 percent from the floor and denied Northern Iowa's bid to take over first place in the league.
The Bears never trailed in the second half - but almost gave the game away in the final minute.
Northern Iowa's John Little hit a three-pointer with 1:05 left to bring the Panthers within 64-61. The Bears' Tyler Chaney missed a layup with 29 seconds left, but Grant Stout's rebound was called a jump ball. The Bears retained possession, but Kellen Easley threw the ball away.
Ben Jacobson made a pair of free throws to make it 64-63 with 22 seconds to play, and Blake Ahearn threw the ensuing inbounds pass away.
Northern Iowa (21-5, 11-4) couldn't capitalize. Jacobson missed a three from the top of the key, and after Bilyeu converted a pair of foul shots, Eric Coleman turned the ball over by mishandling an inbounds pass.