St. Louis – Missouri State bracketed the first half with an 8-0 and 7-0 run but the Shockers controlled things between that and carried over their confidence to the second half en-route to a fairly comfortable 78-63 win over the Bears in semifinal action of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Saturday.
The late first half run by MSU (17-16) closed the gap to 37-34 at the break but the Shockers (29-4) took control early in the second half to stretch their lead to double digits at the 13 minute mark and would go on to outscore the Bears 41-29 in the frame. Shaquille Morris lead the way with 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Conner Frankamp connected on 6-of-12 from distance, pacing the Shockers who hit 10-of-20 from outside as a team.
Jarred Dixon led the way for Missouri State with 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Hazelwood Central product Jordan Martin fouled out with four points hitting both shots from the floor.
2nd seed Wichita State will face top-seed Illinois State tomorrow at 1pm with a ticket to the NCAA Tournament on the line. You can watch the championship game action on CBS.
Other interesting notes…
- Wichita State and Illinois State are a combined 38-0 against the rest of the Valley this season
- Shockers hit 20-of-21 free throws
- After winning the battle on the glass during both regular season games, Missouri State fell short tonight 39-30
- A Shocker championship win would ensure a sixth-straight NCAA Tournament bid, tying Cincinnati’s MVC record from 1958-63
- A win tomorrow for Wichita State would push them to 30 wins for the fourth time in the last five years