SPRINGFIELD, Mo–There’s one month left in the Missouri Valley mens basketball regular season.
And there’s a log jam atop the conference.
Four teams are in first place at 9-4.
Four more are just one game behind.
One of those teams at 8-5 in league play is Missouri State.
But they had a battle on their hands Wednesday night against Valparaiso.
The Beacons led by seven at halftime.
But the Bears rallied behind the inspired play of Alston Mason.
The sophomore guard poured in a career high 27 points and led Mo State to a 76-67 overtime victory.
Jonathan Mogbo had a double, double, 17 points and ten rebounds.
“All these games down the stretch right here in February mean a lot. You have to keep staying together and keep pushing them out. And keep getting wins. I was just trying to keep my head down, keep working. And do my best to get a win,” said Mason.
“Coach talks about toughness a lot. He writes it on the board before every game. The tougher team always wins. I feel like that is a strong thing for us. We have a passion for that. If they throw the first punch, I feel like we should have the urge to fight back and just stay on top,” said Mogbo.