No. 8 Wichita State loses in Missouri Valley semifinals
ST. LOUIS – Daishon Knight capped a 25-point game with two critical free throws in the closing seconds and Illinois State rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat No. 8 Wichita State 65-62 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Saturday.
Reggie Lynch added 11 points, seven rebounds and five blocks for the fourth-seeded Redbirds (21-11), who were 0-2 against the regular-season champions in conference play and trailed by 12 in the first half. Illinois State has won six straight and will play No. 11 Northern Iowa, the second seed, for the Valley's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in the final on Sunday.
Fred VanVleet had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Wichita State (28-4), which was 17-1 in the conference with the lone loss at Northern Iowa.
•SOONERS WIN ON TIP-IN: Buddy Hield scored on a tip-in with 0.2 seconds left to give No. 15 Oklahoma (21-9, 12-6 Big 12) a 75-73 victory over No. 9 Kansas (24-7, 13-5) in Norman, Okla. Kansas scoring leader Perry Ellis sat out because of a sprained knee; a Kansas spokesman said Brannen Greene was suspended for irresponsible behavior; and forward Cliff Alexander didn't make the trip because of an ongoing NCAA investigation.
•GAME STOPPED AFTER BRAWL: A bench-clearing fight broke out midway through the second half in a Southwest Conference game between Southern and host Texas Southern. Officials ruled the game a double forfeit. "I've been involved with basketball for 30-plus years, and I've never seen anything like this. It's an embarrassment," Southern coach Sandy Pugh said. Cheerleaders and fans were reportedly also involved.
•SEC FINALIST: No. 3 South Carolina (29-2) mounted a furious second-half comeback to avoid being upset in the SEC tournament semifinals for a second straight year, beating LSU 74-54 in North Little Rock, Ark. The Gamecocks will play Tennessee on Sunday.
•NCAA BOUND: Tennessee State beat top-seeded UT Martin 64-60 for its first Ohio Valley tournament title and an automatic NCAA tournament berth.