SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Keandre Cook poured in 27 points and Missouri State jumped out to a big first-half lead and held off Valparaiso 67-60 on Thursday night.
Cook buried 6 of 12 shots from the floor and 12 of 16 free throws for the Bears (10-10, 4-3 Missouri Valley Conference). No other Bear scored in double figures. Missouri State led 36-16 at halftime.
Mileek McMillan topped the Crusaders (10-10, 3-4) with 12 points, while Javon Freeman-Liberty and Daniel Sackey scored 11 each. Freeman-Liberty, Valparaiso's leading scorer at 21.2 per game, hit only 4 of 18 shots from the floor, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
Missouri State did some damage at the free-throw line, making 18 of 23 (78%). The Crusaders were 10 of 13 at the foul line (77%). Valparaiso sank just 8 of 39 from distance (20.5%).
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