Missouri State made seven free throws in the final 52 seconds to take a 76-73 win over visiting Indiana State Sunday in a thrilling Missouri Valley Conference showdown at JQH Arena in Springfield. The Bears (14-5, 4-2 MVC) were led by Alize Johnson’s 21 points and 16 rebounds. He and Ryan Kreklow each contributed three charity shots in the final minutes to help ice the win, while Jarred Dixon scored 15 for the home club.
Missouri State rallied in the final two minutes, getting a runner by Ronnie Rousseau III to close the gap to one, and then retaking the lead, 69-68, on a floater by Dixon with 1:23 to play. Indiana State missed its next three shots, which the Bears turned into four unanswered points at the foul line – three by Johnson and one by Rousseau – to push the Bears ahead by five.
But with 6.1 seconds to play, Barnes knocked down his fourth trey of the game, to keep the visitors within striking distance, 73-71. Kreklow was quickly fouled with 5.2 seconds remaining and made one of two to get MSU’s lead back to three.
The Bears continue their two-game home stand Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they take on Valparaiso (11-8, 2-4 MVC) at JQH Arena.