Creighton captures Missouri Valley title
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Nate Funk scored a team-high 19 points as
Creighton upset 11th ranked Southern Illinois 67-61 to win the Missouri Valley
Conference Tournament at Scottrade Center.
Funk was 9-of-19 shooting from the floor and also chipped in with four assists
and four rebounds as Creighton (22-10) earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Anthony Tolliver chipped in with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Nick Porter had
15 points with five boards and six assists in the win. Dane Watts added 12
points for the Bluejays.
Jamaal Tatum scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting for Southern
Illinois (27-6). Matt Shaw contributed 11 points and five rebounds and Bryan
Mullins scored 10 for the Salukis.
After an evenly played contest in the early going, Creighton went on a 13-6
run and following a three pointer by Watts, the Bluejays held a 20-13
advantage with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.
However, Southern Illinois mounted an 11-4 run and managed to tie the game,
24-24, following a free throw by Tyrone Green with 4:53 remaining in the
Creighton closed out the half with an 8-4 flurry and took a 32-28 advantage
into the intermission.
The Bluejays came out of the lockeroom in the second half and continued to
hold the Salukis at arms length and after Josh Dotzler made a pair of free
throws, Creighton had a 50-36 lead with 8:56 left in the contest.
Southern Illinois came back to make it 59-53 after a layup by Mullins with
3:50 remaining, but Creighton answered with a jump shot and free throw by Funk
to take command of the game and held on for the victory.
Creighton shot 46.8 percent from the field, while Southern Illinois made 42.9
percent of its shots…Wesley Clemmons had six points and seven boards in
defeat for Southern Illinois.