NORMAL, Ill–The Missouri Valley Conference tipped off league play Wednesday night in an early bird special.

Just one game for everyone, the earliest start in the 114 year history of the Valley.

In our Bear Nation report, Missouri State was at Illinois State.

Dana Ford played at Illinois State back in the early 2000s.

And a good start for the Bears, Gaige Prim with the wide open three 14-7 Missouri State.

Then the kick out to a wide open Isiaih Mosley with the three, Bears by ten points.

But Illinois State made a late first half run, Lewis Kendall with the bucket and the Redbirds were up 32-31.

Bears led by two at the half.

Second half, Illinois State triple teams Prim, gets the steal out to Josiah Strong for the dunk, 37-35 Illinois State.

Prim brings the Bears back, the stepback floater, 49-44 Bears.

Then the look inside to Prim for two, he had 27 points and 12 boards.

But with 49 seconds left, the extra pass to Strong in the corner for the three, we’re tied at 64 and would go into overtime.

In the OT it was all Antonio Reeves this three gets him started, and Illinois State beats the Bears 79-74 in overtime.