RTC Aftermath will come to you each night where our correspondents are at the conference tournament games as a part of RTC Live. Patrick Marshall was in St. Louis all weekend covering the MVC Tournament for RTC.
First off, I would like to apologize to Rush the Court and Rush the Court fans that due to a family issue, we were not able to do an RTC Live event for the Missouri Valley Conference Final as expected.
Northern Iowa is the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion and punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament today defeating Illinois St. in overtime 60-57. Northern Iowa was on fire early and took a 27-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. Illinois St. was only shooting 23% at halftime and almost looked like they were going to suffer the same fate they handed to Creighton the night before.
However, Illinois St. came out in the second half with a run to quickly tie the game behind Osiris Eldridge who scored all 21 of his points after halftime. The game then went back and forth the rest of the way with Eldridge hitting some 3-pointers that were way behind the line including one that was almost literally at half court. It looked like Illinois St.’s game to win, but the Panthers from UNI stormed back to force the game into overtime.
In the overtime, UNI’s Ali Farokhmenesh once again hit 2 key three pointers and free throws at the end to get UNI to the victory. He finished with 13 points on 4-5 shooting and 3-4 from three. Kwadzo Ahelegbe led UNI with 17 points as the other Panther in double figures.
The things that stuck out in the game were that Illinois St. was able to put up 63 shots while Northern Iowa only put up 46. For the game, Illinois St. was held to 30% shooting which was totally opposite from the night before. So as Northern Iowa is celebrating with their 23-10 record and the MVC tournament championship, let’s see how other teams from the Valley might fare in the postseason: