ST. LOUIS — Wichita State has advanced to the Arch Madness championship game after a big 67-42 win over Missouri State on Saturday. The win not only gives them the chance to win the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament on Sunday but also ties Wichita State for the longest win streak in Missouri Valley history.
Indiana State was the last MVC team to win 33 games without losing in 1979 when Larry Bird led the Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament finals before losing to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans.
Wichita State was in control the entire game, led 33-19 at halftime and then played stifling defense and outscored the Bears 34-23 in the second half.
With about 8 minutes left in the game, the Shockers were able to give the backups a chance to gain valuable experience while several starters were able to get some extra rest before Sunday’s game.
Senior forward Cleanthony Early starred for the Shockers in this game and finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.
Uncharacteristically, Wichita started the game with five early turnovers but were able to collect themselves and end the game with an assist to turnover ratio of 14:9.
Holding Missouri State to 42 total points is the lowest score the Shockers have allowed all season and the seventh time they’ve held an opponent to less than 50 points.
Sophomore forward Gavin Thurman was the leading scorer for Missouri State with 9 points.
Sunday, the Shockers will face the winner between the semi-final match-up of Indiana State and Southern Illinois.