SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Brice Calip and Alexa Willard scored 17 points apiece, leading four other players into double-digit scoring as No. 23 Missouri State blew away from Valparaiso in the second half, winning 85-70 Thursday night.
The win clinched at least a share of the regular-season Missouri Valley Conference championship for the Lady Bears (25-4. 15-2) as well as the outright top seed into next week's conference tournament.
Willard reached 1,500 career points with a 3-pointer early in the second quarter and finished with 1,509. She is the 12th Lady Bear to pass 1,500 career points.
Missouri State needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Elle Ruffridge to lead 40-37 at intermission after Valparaiso fought into three ties in the second quarter. Ruffridge finished with 15 points, making five 3-pointers.
Grace White led the Crusaders (16-12, 8-9) with 18 points, Ella Ellenson added 12 and Caitlin Morrison 10.
After an even first half with each team shooting 14 for 30, Missouri State was 14-for-32 shooting from the field (44%) after halftime while holding the Crusaders to 8 for 24 (33%). The Lady Bears owned a 42-30 edge in rebounding.
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