ST. LOUIS — Joseph Yesufu knifed down the lane, splitting two defenders, and kissed the winning basket off the glass with 2.5 seconds remaining as Drake defeated Missouri State 71-69 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
Yesufu scored 25 points, Tremell Murphy added 20 points for the second-seeded Bulldogs (25-3). Drake advances to Sunday’s tournament championship against top-seeded — and No. 20-ranked — Loyola-Chicago.
Yesufu hit 8 of 10 foul shots. Murphy also had seven rebounds. Garrett Sturtz had nine rebounds for Drake. Darnell Brodie added 10 rebounds.
Gaige Prim had 19 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for the Bears (17-7). Keaton Hervey added 18 points. Demarcus Sharp had 16 points and eight assists.
Sharp had knotted the score at 69-69 with a drive at the 19-second mark.