Missouri State’s 18-3 run in the second-half turned an early deficit into a 64-57 win over Missouri Valley first-year foe Valparaiso on Wednesday at JQH Arena.

The victory moves the preseason favorite Bears into a first place tie.

MSU (15-5, 5-2 MVC) was led by senior Alize Johnson who posted his eighth straight double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds to lead all players. Jarred Dixon added 12 points in the winning cause.