Johnson stars as Missouri State defeats Northern Iowa 70-64

ST. LOUIS — Alize Johnson scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Missouri State to a 70-64 victory over Northern Iowa in a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal on Friday night.

No. 6 seed Missouri State (17-15) plays second-seeded and No. 21-ranked Wichita State (28-4) in Saturday’s semifinal.

The Bears had a seven-point lead with four minutes left. Bennett Koch made two free throws and Klint Carlson converted a 3-point play to pull Northern Iowa to 59-57. Missouri State turned the ball over on its next possession, and Jordan Ashton then missed a 3 for the Panthers.

Johnson’s free throw made it 60-57. The Panthers then missed another bucket, and the Bears shot 10 of 10 from the line to seal it. Chris Kendrix had 11 points for the Bears. Jarred Dixon added 10 points and made all 10 of his foul shots.

Jeremy Morgan scored 18 points to lead No. 3 seed Northern Iowa (14-16), which has lost four straight.