RTC Aftermath: MVC SemifinalsPosted by nvr1983 on March 8th, 2009
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 is in St. Louis all weekend covering the MVC Tournament for RTC.
RTC Live Aftermath—Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, March 7, 2009
Today’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament game between Creighton and Illinois State was covered by Rush the Court. Illinois State dominated Creighton from the start and won 73-49 to advance to the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Tournament officials decided to do something a little different than what was done in Thursday or Friday’s games for the starting lineups as they dimmed the lights and spotlighted the players.
Illinois State came out on fire and did not let up. They shot 55% from the field and 68% from the three point line (13/19) while Creighton shot only 27% from the field and 18% from the three point line. The Creighton huddle was befuddled by what Illinois State was doing.
In all reality though, the biggest issue was the shooting and making scoring plays. Illinois State had 16 assists on 28 baskets so they were getting great ball movement which gave them open shots. Creighton actually won battle of rebounds 39-35 (including 20 offensive rebounds) and made more free throws than Illinois State. Steals and turnovers were also basically even.
Creighton’s dance team tried to get the Jays going, but was unsuccessful.
Eldridge scored a game-high 21 points and was just unconscious from the field shooting 8/14 (including 4/5 from three.) He also grabbed 7 rebounds. Oguchi on the other hand was 6/12 from the field (including 6/8 from three). Eldridge talks about the great things the team did in tonight’s game.
Booker Woodfox and P’allen Stinnett were held to a combined 17 points and the team only scored 18 points in the first half. No one from Creighton appeared to be able to hit shots.
Illinois State now advances to Sunday’s 2:05 PM EST MVC Tournament Final against Northern Iowa. Creighton, on the other hand, finishes at 26-7 and now has to sit and wait to see what their fate is on whether they get into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large or if they head over to the NIT. At 26 wins and winning 11 of their last 12, the Bluejays will be a hard team for the NCAA Selection Committee to ignore, but the margin of loss to Illinois State may be a determining factor on whether they knock someone off the bubble. As soft as the bubble is this season, they might have a chance.
Northern Iowa 76, Bradley 62—Northern Iowa got past their first game jitters from yesterday’s escape from Indiana State and turned things around to outlast Bradley to reach the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Adam Koch had 22 points and Kwazdo Ahelegbe had 21 to lead the way for Northern Iowa. Though tied at halftime, Northern Iowa looked like the fresher team. UNI also took advantage of getting Bradley into foul trouble converting 24-30 foul shots and shooting 11 more free throws than Bradley.
Sam Maniscalco and Theron Wilson led Bradley in scoring, but combined for 9/25 from the field and could not hit shots down the stretch. Bradley will probably make some type of post season play like they did last season in the CBI tourney, but they are probably hoping for an NIT bid this season and will have to sit back and see what happens for them.