The plot continues to thicken in the Missouri Valley Conference and the Missouri St. Bears remain in the middle of it. The Bears rolled Evansville 71-50 in Springfield, while three of the teams tied for the conference lead all lost on Tuesday.

Victory seemed to be there for the Bears’ taking on Tuesday, as they jumped out to a 39-20 lead by the end of the first half. MSU’s defense was strong, as they held the Purple Aces to 6-of-18 shooting in the first half and 15-of-38 for the evening.

Missouri St.’s free throw shooting was almost perfect—they hit 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. They’re hitting over 75 percent of their free throws this season.

Blake Ahearn was the leading scorer for MSU, with 15. Deke Thompson had 12 and Kellen Easley scored 10 points. Ten different Bears scored on Tuesday, as they upped their season record to 17-7 and their mark in the Valley moved to 10-6. The Bears are in fifth place in the league, but are just two games out of first.

Evansville, which holds the bottom spot of the league, is 7-17 and 3-13.

Wichita St. took back the Valley lead to themselves on Tuesday night with a 62-61 overtime win over Creighton in Wichita. Creighton, which was in the four-team logjam fell a game behind the Shockers.

Also falling into a three-way tie for second place were Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois. The Panthers lost 61-60 to the Sycamores in Terre Haute, while the Salukis were drummed in Peoria by Bradley 72-60.