Missouri State senior Keandre Cook scored 26 points, including 17 in the second half, but the Bears could not hold off Valparaiso early in the second half in an 89-82 loss in the MVC Tournament semifinals Saturday in St. Louis. MSU (16-17) dominated nearly every statistical category, including more field goals, 3-pointers and rebounds than its opponent. But when the Crusaders parlayed a 12-2 run into an 11-point lead with 14:56 to play, the Bears had few answers until the final minute of the game.
Seventh-seeded Valpo (19-15) got 29 points from Javon Freeman Liberty who was 10-of-18 from the field with nine free throws, nine rebounds and five assists. John Kiser added 17 points for the Crusaders who advanced to play Bradley in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference championship game.