Alize Johnson posted his eighth straight double-double as Missouri State pulled into a tie atop the Missouri Valley standings with a 59-55 win over Valparaiso Wednesday at JQH Arena.
With only four points at halftime, the star senior said he rallied his teammates with a halftime speech. Johnson finished the game with 24 points and 17 rebounds, spearheading a crucial 18-3, second-half run that retook the lead and made the difference in a game that, like most in the Valley, came down to the final minute.
“I have to give credit to our coaches,” Johnson said. “They get us right everyday in practice and make sure that we’re prepared for hard times like this. This is something we’ve been stressing on lately.”
Missouri State (15-5, 5-2 MVC) is now tied with Drake and Loyola for first place in the MVC. The Bears can take the outright lead Saturday at Drake. Tip-off in Des Moines is scheduled for 3 pm.