Recap: Missouri State vs. Illinois State
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Austin Ruder went 6-of-12 from 3-point range in a 21-point effort that led Missouri State to a 53-48 win over Illinois State in a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal from Scottrade Center.
Ruder's final long-distance make was the biggest, putting the Bears up by a 48-46 count with 2:04 remaining and igniting a game-closing 8-2 run that sent fourth-seeded Missouri State (20-11) into a matchup with second-ranked and still-unbeaten Wichita State in Saturday's semifinals.
Keith Pickens pulled down 14 rebounds and Jarmar Gulley had 10 boards along with eight points for the Bears, who held the Redbirds to a 31.4 percent shooting rate.
Zach Lofton was the lone offensive bright spot for Illinois State (16-15), tallying 25 points while canning five 3-pointers.
Bobby Hunter gave the Redbirds a 46-45 lead by burying a triple with 4:03 left, but Ruder answered just under two minutes later and a Pickens' tip-in with 38 seconds remaining sent Missouri State up by four.
Lofton's second-chance jumper with 11 seconds on the clock pulled Illinois State within 50-48, but he misfired from beyond the arc after MSU's Dorrian Williams sank two free throws that made it a two-possession game once again.Game Notes