Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball teams went a combined 3-1 Sunday to cap a 12-6 week in non-conference action. Sunday's games featured three more in-season tournament victories (including a tournament championship by Illinois State, which won the SMU Tip-Off Classic.)
Following Sunday's action, the league improved to 15-3 at home this season in non-conference play, and 20-9 overall against non-MVC teams. Three league teams remain perfect: Illinois State (4-0); Creighton (3-0); and Evansville (3-0).
And the league has an 8-3 record in in-season tournament play as Drake (Cancun Challenge), Illinois State (SMU Tip-Off Classic) and Northern Iowa (Chicago Invitational) all won tournament games Sunday. Bradley plays UMKC in the CBE Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla., on Monday.
Illinois State 84, SMU 73
DALLAS, Texas -- A combination of 19 first-half points by tournament most valuable player Champ Oguchi and the team's nine second-half three-pointers paved the way to Illinois State's 84-73 victory over SMU and the 2008 SMU Tipoff Classic title Sunday night at the Moody Coliseum.
The Redbirds swept the tournament field in the three-day event to improve to 4-0 on the season, while claiming its first regular-season tournament championship since winning the 1998 Hawaii-Pacific Shootout. The 4-0 start is the first by the Redbirds since the 1996-97 campaign, while SMU fell to 2-2 on the season.
ISU's first five made field goals in the second half were all from beyond the arch, with two each from Oguchi and Lloyd Phillips. During the Redbirds' 15-point three-point run, SMU countered with only four points and ISU built a 49-32 lead at the 14:45 mark. The lead proved to be the largest of the game and SMU cut the gap to seven points twice, but the Redbirds shot 13-for-15 from the foul line in the second half to seal the win.
In the game's first 14 minutes, both offenses were sluggish as the teams were tied 16-16 with 6:18 left on the half. However, Oguchi started to heat up the Redbirds went on an 18-8 run over the next five-and-a-half minutes, in which Oguchi scored 16 ISU points. SMU ended the half with a 4-0 run and trailed 34-28 at the break.
For the third time this season, all five Redbird starters scored in double-figures led by tournament MVP Oguchi. The Oregon transfer tossed in a career-high 28 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including a 6-for-8 effort on threes. Osiris Eldridge joined Oguchi on the all-tournament team and finished with 12 points and six assists.
Dinma Odiakosa and Phillips each dumped in 13 points, while Emmanuel Holloway tossed in 12. The Redbirds shot 51 percent from the field and 56.5 percent on treys (13-of-23). SMU's Paul McCoy led the Mustangs with 22 points.
Drake 75, South Dakota State 65
DES MOINES, IOWA - Senior forward Brent Heemskerk (Grand Rapids, Mich.) recorded his first career double-double with a season-high 12 points and 10 rebounds helping the Drake men's basketball team beat South Dakota State, 75-65, in the second round of the Cancun Challenge Sunday.
Senior forward Jonathan Cox (Barrington, Ill.) led Drake with 15 points, including 10 in the second half, as five players scored in double figures. Junior guard Josh Young (Lawton, Okla.), who leads the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring, added 14 points.
Junior transfer forward Adam Templeton (Rapid City, S.D.) netted 13 and sophomore guard Josh Parker (Harvey, Ill.) came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points for Drake which improved to 2-1. Drake continued its torrid shooting at the free throw line, hitting 23 of 25 shots for 92 percent. The Bulldogs are shooting 88.9 percent at the charity line through three games, making 56 of 63 shots.
After trailing 4-2, Drake went on a 10-0 run highlighted by consecutive three-point baskets from Cox and junior reserve forward Bill Eaddy (Ypsilanti, Mich.). Heemskerk closed out the run with baskets on Drake's next two possessions.
"We didn't have great energy, but we did enough good things to get the win," said Drake coach Mark Phelps. "We did a better job of moving the ball. But we need to get better defensively. Fortunately we were good at the free throw line."
South Dakota State missed four shots during Drake's run while encountering a scoreless drought of six minutes 21 seconds. The Jackrabbits also committed five turnovers during the same stretch.
Heemskerk, who had a combined two-game total of two points entering the game, missed his first shot against South Dakota State before making his next five shots.
"Brent is continuing to work at being more low post threat," Phelps added. "He gave us a spark today."
A layup by Cox with 7:03 left gave Drake its biggest lead at 61-46. Drake outrebounded South Dakota State, 33-28. Cox added nine rebounds for Drake. Drake collected a season-high 13 steals, while scoring 19 points off South Dakota State turnovers.
Drake senior guard Jacob Baryenbruch (Spring Green, Wis.) led Drake with three assists and a career-high three steals. The Bulldogs will play Vanderbilt this Saturday in Cancun, Mexico in a matchup featuring two teams which advanced to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Guard Garrett Callahan led South Dakota State, which slipped to 2-3, with 21 points.
Northern Iowa 74, Texas Southern 67
Cedar Falls, Iowa Freshman guard Johnny Moran had a career-high 21 points to lead the University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team to a 74-67 win over Texas Southern this afternoon at the McLeod Center.
Moran connected on 7-of-11 shots from the floor and was 6-for-8 on three-pointers, while grabbing five rebounds, dishing out two assists and getting a pair of steals. He was joined in double-figure scoring by junior forward Adam Koch (season-high 18 points), and sophomore guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe (career-best 11 points). Ahelegbe tied Moran and Travis Brown for high rebounding honors with five, while dishing out a team-high five assists. Texas Southern’s Matthew Miller led all scorers with 28 points, including tying a McLeod Center record by making seven three-pointers.
Koch had a conventional three-point play and Moran nailed a trey from the corner to give UNI a 6-2 lead to start the game. The Tigers scored nine of the next 12 points to take an 11-9 lead with 12:28 left, but UNI responded by scoring nine straight to take the lead for good, 18-11, with 8:14 on the clock.
Miller hit a jumper in the lane to get TSU within 25-19 with slightly less than five minutes left in the first half, but UNI was able to extend its lead to double-digits, 33-23, on a jumper from Ahelegbe just before the first half horn.
Moran nailed a three to push the Panthers’ lead to 38-27 three minutes into the second half, but Miller drained a pair of treys during an 8-2 run that got Texas Southern to its closest point in the second half, 40-35, with 14:37 left in the game. But UNI then went on a decisive 13-2 run over the next seven minutes, with Koch and Ahelegbe combining for eight of UNI’s points during that stretch, as the Panthers extended their advantage to 53-37 with 7:51 remaining.
The Panthers held a double-digit lead much of the rest of the way, and although Miller made three three-pointers in the final minute to keep the Tigers in the game, UNI made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
UNI shot 44 percent from the field and made a season-best nine three-pointers, while turning the ball over a season-low eight times. Texas Southern shot 58 percent from the field (10-for-16 on threes), but was just 5-for-14 at the free throw line. UNI outrebounded Texas Southern, 30-26.
North Texas 80, Indiana State 69
TERRE HAUTE, IND. The Indiana State Sycamores struggled to find their rhythm and could not cool off a hot shooting North Texas team, dropping their second contest of the season 80-69 in the Indiana State home opener in the Hulman Center Sunday afternoon.
Carl Richard led four Sycamores into double figures with 17 points. Josh Crawford added 16 points, Aaron Carter 12 and Rashad Reed. Carter paced the Sycamores in rebounding with nine while Crawford had two blocks.
Dominque Johnson had 17 points to pace North Texas with Josh White adding 16 and Eric Tramiel 15. George Odufuwa and Kedrick Hogans had 10 rebounds each.
Indiana State drops to 0-2 on the season and will return to the Hulman Center on Wednesday night when they host Murray State at 7 p.m. (ET). North Texas improves to 3-1 on the season and will host Jackson State on Wednesday.
It was a fast pace opening half of play with the score tied five times in the early going, the final time at 13 after ISU’s Crawford connected from short range with 14:32 left. North Texas’ Tramiel knocked down two free throws and added a lay-up with 9:53 left to give the Mean Green a 17-13 advantage.
After Carter banged one home from long distance to bring the Sycamores back to within one, North Texas scored four more points to take their largest lead at 22-16. Crawford led an Indiana State rally late in the half scoring seven of ISU’s final 11 points.
Richard scored two on a short jumper with 1:12 left and Jay Tunnell scored his first points of the game on two free throws with 44 seconds left as the Sycamores fought back to trail 33-31 at the break.
Richard tied the game up at the start of the second half and a Crawford three-pointer gave ISU their first lead since early in the game, 38-35. Indiana State was able to open their biggest lead of the game at 46-42 after an Isiah Martin bucket with 13:31 left.
North Texas used a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to move in front 55-48 with 10 minutes left in the contest. The Sycamores were down 57-53 after two Richard free throws but the Mean Machine ran off 10 straight points in taking a 67-53 advantage.
Richard stopped the run with a bucket off an offensive rebound with 4:06 left, was fouled, and made the free throw to cut the North Texas lead to 67-56. Tunnell scored his first field goal of the game with 2:23 left, a three-pointer from the top of the key that cut the ISU deficit to 67-59.
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