A late surge was too much for the Southwest Missouri St. Bears to handle in a 75-57 loss to Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game Monday. The game remained relatively close throughout the game and SMS trailed 52-50 with 7:24 to go, before the Bluejays went on a 23-7 run to close out the game. After shooting 48 percent from the floor in the first half, the Bears slipped to just 8-of-25 the rest of the way and they were just 2-of-10 from behind the three-point arc. Senior Tamarr Maclin, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds in their win over SIU the day before, was held to just eight points and seven boards on Monday. SMS had won the two regular season match ups with Creighton.
It was the second straight year that the Bears lost in the conference championship. The loss dropped SMS to 18-12 and the thing folks in Springfield are wondering about now is whether or not that’s good enough to get them into the NIT. Last year they were left out after going 1`9-14, with an RPI of 102. This year their RPI ranking is 48.