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No. 2 Wichita State rolls into MVC final

St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Cleanthony Early scored 20 points and No. 2 Wichita State rolled to a 67-42 win over Missouri State on Saturday that moved the unbeaten Shockers into the final of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

The Shockers (33-0) will face second-seeded Indiana State in Sunday's final. The Sycamores held on to beat Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday.

Wichita State is one win away from tying UNLV's 23-year-old record for best start to a season.

One of its toughest tests of the season came Jan. 11 against Missouri State, when the Bears took the Shockers to overtime at home before losing by three.

That win left Wichita State as one of four remaining unbeaten teams in the country. Now the Shockers are the only ones left.

"I thought we shared the ball very well. We were slow getting started but we loosened that up," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said Saturday. "We knew this team could give us fits if we didn't play well but we played well enough."

Tekele Cotton added 13 points for Wichita State, which held the fourth-seeded Bears (20-12) under 32 percent shooting. Gavin Thurman had nine points to lead Missouri State.

The Shockers haven't lost since falling to eventual champion Louisville in the Final Four last year. UNLV made it to the NCAA tournament perfect in 1990-91 and was 34-0 before losing to Duke in the Final Four.

The top-seeded Shockers beat Evansville by 22 on Friday in their tournament opener and led by as many as 38 on Saturday.

They had a 13-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first half and were up 33-19 at the break.

"They handled us," said Bears coach Paul Lusk. "I thought we did some really good things in the first half defensively. I thought we played about as well as we could have defensively. ... When they're rolling like that, they're going to be tough to deal with."

The Bears never got closer than 12 in the second half. Their only two losses in their last five games of the season came to Wichita State. They topped Illinois State by five on Friday to open the tournament.

Game Notes

Wichita State shot 50 percent (25-of-50) overall and 9-of-20 (45 percent) from 3-point range ... Early made three of his six 3-point attempts ... It marked the seventh time in the last eight years the No. 1 seed in the tournament advanced to the final.

03/08 19:47:50 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI