No. 7 seed Valpo beats Missouri State 89-82 to advance to MVC tourney final

Javon Freeman-Liberty scored 29 points, had nine rebounds and added five assists in Valparaiso's semifinal win.
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ST. LOUIS — Javon Freeman-Liberty scored 29 points with nine rebounds and five assists and Valparaiso beat Missouri State 89-82 Saturday to advance to the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference.

The No. 7 seed Crusaders (19-15) beat 10th-seed Evansville Thursday and upset No. 2 seed Loyola Chicago on Friday. Valpo faces No. 4 seed Bradley on Sunday.

Isiaih Mosley hit a 3-pointer to give Missouri State (16-17) a 28-19 lead with 6:17 before halftime. The Crusaders responded with a 10-0 run, took the lead and were up 40-38 at intermission. Freeman-Liberty’s jump shot with 12:50 left extended Valpo’s lead to 61-48, and they maintained a safe distance until Keandre Cook’s 3 with 21 seconds left reduced the Bears’ deficit to 85-82. Ben Krikke sank two foul shots a couple of seconds later to seal the win.

John Kiser scored 17 points for the Crusaders, Krikke added 11 and Donovan Clay had 10.

Cook led the Bears with 26 points. Lamont West had 15 for the Bears, Gaige Prim with 12 and Tulio Da Silva and Mosley 11 apiece.