St. Louis, Mo – It’s one of the best days of the year. It’s a day full of some of the best basketball in the land. It’s the Missouri Valley Conference Quarterfinals.
Indiana State 48, Wichita State 72; It was with little surprise that the nation’s 14th best team, the Wichita State Shockers, handed last year’s tournament darlings, the Indiana State Sycamores rather easily. Greg Lansing’s squad did not have a single player reach double digits and shot just 26.9% from the field, 22.7% from three point range. Wichita, on the other hand, saw 3 players reach double digits while shooting 50% from both the field and beyond the arc. Ragland and Murry both had a game high 14 points while Williams had 10 tallies under his name. Wichita scored 32 points in the paint and nabbed 43 rebounds.
UNI 42, Illinois State 54; A poor shooting performance by both the Panthers and Redbirds saw Illinois State come out on top. UNI shot just 25.5% from the field while the boys from Bloomington-Normal shot a, comparatively speaking, red hot 34.5%. Moran lead the Panthers with 13 points while his team let a 4 point half-time lead slip away; Illinois State outscored them 33-17 in the second half. As is to be expected, Carmichael was the key to the Redbirds game plan. He led Illinois State with an exceptional night in both points, 16, and rebounds, 15, giving him the games only double double. The Redbirds went 0-9 from beyond the arc in the second half but shot 40.6 from the field during the second part of the game.
Drake 61, Creighton 68; Last night’s winner against the Bradley Braves, the Drake Bulldogs, had the 24th ranked Creighton Blue Jays sweating bullets Friday night. It was just a one lead for the Blue Jays after one half of play before they hunkered down defensively and held the Bulldogs to 33.3% shooting from the field and 0-7 from beyond the arc in the second half. The Bulldogs had four players in double digits, including one double double on Friday night; Clarke had 11 points matched with 11 rebounds, Alexander threw up 14 points, Simons had 11 points, and Rice drummed up a team high 15 points while going a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe. The Blue Jays had 3 players in double figures and were led by none other than the national sensation Doug McDermott who had 26 points on 9-15 shooting from the field, went 4-6 from beyond the arc, and even grabbed 10 rebounds to give himself a double double; Echenique added 10 points of his own and Young tacked on 16 tallies.
Evansville 72, Missouri State 64; The Evansville Aces had a strong showing in the first half of Friday night’s last game, taking a 43-36 lead after 20 minutes of play. Harris had 12 points at the half for the Aces while Weems drilled 14 points home for the Bears. This fast paced game had a little extra meaning for the two teams involved; their last two meetings were both overtime losses by the Evansville Aces. The Aces took that half-time lead and the fuel from these losses into the final 20 minutes of play. The Bears made just one 3 pointer throughout the entirety of the second half despite taking 8 shots from beyond the arc. Weems was only able to muster up 23 points after his stellar first half, but he did add 10 rebounds. Colt Ryan and the Evansville Aces, on the other hand, recognized their lack of perimeter production and hunkered down on defense, forcing 11 turnovers and turning those into 13 points. Harris led the Aces with 20 points, Ryan had 19, and Holmes had 11.
Wichita State will take on Illinois State tomorrow at 1:35pm. Creighton will try to take down Evansville at 4:05pm.