Illinois State knocks off No. 8 Wichita State 65-62

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Daishon Knight capped a 25-point game with two critical free throws in the closing seconds and Illinois State rallied from eight-point halftime deficit to beat No. 8 Wichita State 65-62 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Saturday.

Reggie Lynch added 11 points, seven rebounds and five blocks for the fourth-seeded Redbirds (21-11), who were 0-2 against the regular season champions in conference play and trailed by 12 in the first half. Illinois State has won six straight and will play either No. 11 Northern Iowa, the second seed, or Loyola, the No. 6, for the Valley’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the final on Sunday.

Fred VanVleet had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Wichita State (28-4), which was 17-1 in the conference with the lone loss at Northern Iowa. VanVleet had a tough look nd was offline on a 3-point attempt with 1 second remaining.