ST. LOUIS, Mo–For the fourth time in his seven years as Missouri State’s head coach, Paul Lusk’s Bears were in the play in game at Arch Madness. The Bears have won all three of those previous Thursday night battles. To go four for four, Missouri State needed to beat Valparaiso.
The Bears Alize Johnson taking it strong to the rack early, he horses this in from the block to give Missouri State a 2-0 lead.
The Bears offense was clicking early, Johnson kicks it out to Jarrid Rhodes for a three, it’s a 7-2 start.
Missouri State continued to pound it inside, Mustafa Lawrence feeds Obediah Church for the slam dunk, its an 11-4 start.
Valparaiso keeping pace from the out to Tevonn Walker for the three, and it’s a one point game.
But Jarrid Rhodes answers with another three pointer, and the Bears were up 25-22.
Missouri State played a zone defense most of the first half, Micha Bradford bombs over that zone to make it 30-27.
But again the Bears Alize Johnson in the lane, and finishes with the slam dunk, 32-27.
And Missouri State owned a 39-33 halftime lead.
It would come down to the wire but the Bears would 8 striaght free throws to hold of Valpo in the second half. Missouri State wins 83-79.
Alize Johnson had 22 points, 19 rebounds and 6 assists in the win.
Missouri State will play Southern Illinois Friday at 6:00 p.m.