No. 19 Wichita St. 68, Illinois St. 55

Joe Ragland scored 14 points to lead No. 19 Wichita State to a

68-55 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday night to clinch the

Missouri Valley Conference championship.

Ragland had four 3-pointers for the Shockers, who made 10 of 23

from beyond the arc.

Wichita State (25-4, 15-2), which has won seven straight games

and 15 of 16, won its seventh Missouri Valley title and first since

2006. The 15 conference wins are the most for the Shockers since

they went 17-1

in winning the MVC in 1982-83.

Garrett Stutz had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Shockers,

while Ben Smith and Demetric Williams added 11 points apiece.

Williams did all his scoring in the first half.

Bryant Allen scored 17 points for Illinois State (17-12,

8-9).

Wichita State made its first six shots and took a 15-4 lead.

Toure Murry, Ragland and Williams hit 3-pointers in that opening

stretch.

Illinois State closed within 24-20 after a 3-pointer by Allen,

but the Shockers got a tip-in by Tekele Cotton and eight straight

points by Williams to close the first half on a 10-2 run for a

34-22 lead.

Wichita State held the Redbirds scoreless for the final 3:27 of

the first half.

Illinois State got as close as seven points early in the second

half, but the Shockers went on a 10-1 run, highlighted by

consecutive dunks by Stutz and Kyles then back-to-back 3-pointers

from Ragland and Smith to go ahead 57-40 with 9:41 remaining.

Illinois State wouldn’t go away.

The Redbirds cut the deficit to nine points on a jumper by Allen

to make it 62-53 with 5:08 left, but that’s as close as they would

get.

Wichita State shot 52 percent (14 for 27) from the field in the

first half and 47 percent (26 for 55) overall.

The Shockers limited the Redbirds to 37 percent shooting and

held Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State’s leading scorer with a 13.8

average, to six points on 2-of-9 shooting.