INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Byron Larkin scored 19 points in each half, including nine in a decisive 11-point spurt, as Xavier beat St. Louis 81-69 Sunday to give the Musketeers the Midwestern Collegiate Conference basketball tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Xavier led 39-26 with 1:43 left in the first half, but St. Louis was able to tie the score 60-60 before the 6-foot-3 Larkin made two consecutive short jumpers to put the Musketeers ahead to stay with 6:03 to play.

The Billikens had tied the game on three consecutive jump shots by Monroe Douglass. However, St. Louis then went nearly five minutes without scoring.

Stan Kimbrough and Larkin each came up with steals and layups, and Xavier took a 71-60 lead on two free throws by Larkin with 1:47 left.

Larkin, the most valuable player, scored 93 points in Xavier victories over Butler, Oral Roberts and St. Louis as the Musketeers won the title for second consecutive year. He topped the mark of 74 set by Carl Henry of Oklahoma City with his first point of the second half.

Xavier, 18-12, led 41-31 at halftime after making 14 of 21 field goal attempts in the first half.

Roland Gray led the Billikens with 23 points and Douglass added 19.

St. Louis dropped to 24-9 and still has hopes for its first postseason bid since going to the National Invitation Tournament in 1965.