ST. LOUIS (AP) Austin Phyfe matched his season high with 21 points as Northern Iowa narrowly defeated Illinois State 65-60 in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney on Thursday night.
Tenth-seeded Illinois State face No. 2 seed Drake in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Tywhon Pickford had 11 points and nine rebounds for Northern Iowa (10-15). Nate Heise added six rebounds. James Betz had three blocks.