SW Missouri St. 59, Illinois St 56
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Jessie McVay scored six points in the final 1:36 as Southwest Missouri State rallied to beat Illinois State 59-56 for the Missouri Valley Conference championship Saturday.
The Lady Bears (25-4) scored the game’s final ten points to win their fifth league title in the last six years.
Illinois State (19-10) led 24-21 at halftime. The Redbirds extended the lead to 47-34 with 7:02 left to play.
The Lady Bears chipped away and trailed 56-49 after Jamie Bartlett hit a 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the game.
Southwest Missouri took advantage of the Redbirds’ cold free-throw shooting and tied it at 56-56 on McVay’s driving layup with 1:08 to play. McVay gave the Lady Bears the lead on two free throws with 20 seconds remaining.
Illinois State’s Melanie Ward missed a jump shot to tie it with 12 seconds to go, and Southwest Missouri’s Roshonda Reed pulled down her game-high 11th rebound.
McVay led the Lady Bears with 15 points and Reed had 12.
Kristin Valdez had 17 for Illinois State.