No. 21 Wichita State beats Illinois State to win MVC tourney

Witicha State's Rashard Kelly kisses the Championship trophy after his team wins the Missouri Valley Conference Championship game over Illinois State 71-51, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 5, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Witicha State’s Rashard Kelly kisses the Championship trophy after his team wins the Missouri Valley Conference Championship game over Illinois State 71-51, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 5, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Conner Frankamp scored 19 points and Markis McDuffie added 16 as No. 21 Wichita State beat Illinois State 71-51 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game Sunday, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

After splitting their regular-season series and sharing the conference championship, Wichita State left no doubt as to whom the top team in the MVC was this season.

The Shockers (30-4, 17-1), the No. 2 seed, have won 15 straight games since losing at Illinois State on Jan. 14. The No. 1-seeded Redbirds (27-6, 17-1) had won eight straight games since losing at Wichita State on Feb. 4.

Landry Shamet added 14 points for Wichita State. Paris Lee, the MVC’s player of the year, led Illinois State with 18 points, while MiKyle McIntosh scored 16.