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Missouri State Survives Redbird Challenge

Missouri State beats Illinois State 53-48 in the Valley tournament quarterfinals.
ST. LOUIS, Mo--The Missouri State Bears tipped off the Valley post season tournament Friday afternoon in St. Louis against Illinois State.

Joining me now live from St. Louis is KOLR 10's Megan Rice.

And Megan, the Bears were shooting for their 20th win of the season.

That's right Dan, it was an exciting mathcup..

Where ISU had won the last four Valley games against Missouri State.

The Bears had not beaten ISU in St. Louis since 2008.

We start things off with freshman Austin Ruder getting the Bears off to a good start.

That makes it 6-1 on that three.

Then the pretty extra pass to Devon Thomas the Bears were up 8-1.  

Then ISU's Zack Lofton hits the pullup giving the Redbirds their first field goal with nine minutes into the game.
10-4 MSU.

Then Gulley finds Pickens cutting through the lane for the score it's a 15-5 Bears lead.

Ruder would hit another three pointer.

He now has the record of 71 three's by an MSU freshman, 20-13 Bears.

The Redbirds Tony Wills gets the big and one, to cut it to a three point Bears lead.

Right before the half, the ally-oop to Christian Kirk.

That makes it 22-17.

In the second half, Daishon Knight with the jumper makes it 27-24 MSU.

Then Gulley off the Ruder miss puts the Bears up by ten.

After that things get interesting, Lofton drains a huge three ball to make it a one point game.

With two minutes left, the kid has ice in his veins, Ruder with the huge three to put the Bears up 48-46.

Then to seal the victory, Pickens crashing the boards and gets the tip in here. 

The Bears win it 53-48.

Austin Ruder/MSU Freshman:"It was a great atmosphere defintely.  Being my first time here.  But hitting the shots, it felt good.  Hitting the second one really felt good and I thought it was going to be a pretty good night.  I kept putting them up.  My teammates kept telling me to put them up.  So it was a good feeling."

So it's safe to say the Bears are looking foward to their third meeting of the season against the Shockers.

Keith Pickens/MSU Senior:"Definitely exciting.  Obviously I didn't get to play against them in the first contest.  Anytime you can play a team like this of the calibre of this being second in the country.  You have to be excited and give your best effort."             

And Missouri State will play Wichita State Saturday at 1:30.

Reporting live from St. Louis, Megan Rice, KOLR 10 sports.




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