SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Fazekas scored 18 points and Valparaiso used a big first half to roll past Missouri State, 82-66 and pick up a Missouri Valley Conference victory on the road Saturday afternoon.
Valpo needed a running, 50-foot buzzer beater to get past Illinois State in its conference opener, but wasted no time taking charge against the Bears, rolling to a 46-24 advantage by intermission.
Jarred Dixon opened the second half with a 4-point play and Kabir Mohammed added a 3-point play cut the Missouri State deficit to 46-30, but the Bears were never able to get within single digits.
Fazekas was 6 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc and Bakari Evelyn added 13 points off the bench for the Crusaders (9-6, 2-0). Deion Lavender grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists.
Dixon finished with 23 points for Missouri State (6-9, 0-2). Mohammed added another 13 points and grabbed eight boards.