ST. LOUIS (AP) – Cleanthony Early scored 20 points with three 3-pointers and a pair of dunks, and No. 2 Wichita State improved to 33-0 with little resistance in a 67-42 rout over Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference semifinals Saturday.
Tekele Cotton also made three 3-pointers for the top-seeded Shockers (33-0), who matched the start by Larry Bird and Indiana State in 1979 before they lost to Michigan State and Magic Johnson in the NCAA title game. Wichita State will be heavily favored against Indiana State or Southern Illinois to make it 34 in a row, which would match the NCAA-record start by UNLV in 1990-91.
The Shockers, who last won the conference tourney in 1987, took control with a 17-0 run in the first half and topped it with 24 straight points in the second, scoring at will while Missouri State endured droughts totaling more than 15 minutes.