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Big 1st half carries Valparaiso past Missouri State, 82-66

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.

Updated January 5, 2019

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