Sports

Early scores 19 as No. 2 Shockers rout Missouri State 68-45 to finish regular season 31-0

  • Wichita State's Chadrack Lufile (0) celebrates getting fouled by Missouri State's Devon Thomas, at center right with the ball, with teammates Cleanthony Early, middle and Nick Wiggins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Wichita, Kan., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

    Wichita State's Chadrack Lufile (0) celebrates getting fouled by Missouri State's Devon Thomas, at center right with the ball, with teammates Cleanthony Early, middle and Nick Wiggins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Wichita, Kan., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Wichita State's Evan Wessel, bottom right, scrambles for a loose ball against Missouri State's Austin Ruder, bottom left,  during the first half  of an NCAA college basketball game in Wichita, Kan., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

    Wichita State's Evan Wessel, bottom right, scrambles for a loose ball against Missouri State's Austin Ruder, bottom left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Wichita, Kan., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT  (The Associated Press)

Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament.

Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 13 and the second-ranked Shockers rolled to a 68-45 victory over Missouri State on Saturday, easily putting away a team that had given them fits this season.

Relying on the same stubborn defense that carried it on last year's improbable March run, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) became the first team since Saint Joseph's in 2004 to enter its league tournament unbeaten. The Shockers will have a first-round bye in St. Louis next week.

Missouri State (19-11, 9-9) had them in trouble when they met Jan. 11 in Springfield, Mo., but the Bears blew a 19-point second-half lead and ultimately lost 72-69 in overtime.

They never came close to making it a game Saturday, trailing by double-digits in the opening minutes.