ST. LOUIS -- Adam Koch had 22 points and nine rebounds, helping top seed Northern Iowa pull away in the second half to beat Bradley 76-62 in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals on Saturday. The will face Illinois State in the title game Sunday.
Kwadzo Ahelegbe added 21 points and four assists for the Panthers (22-10), who shot 50 percent and advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2004. Northern Iowa shared its first conference title with Creighton, which lost to Illinois State in the second semifinal.
Theron Wilson scored all but two of his 16 points in the second half and Sam Maniscalco added 14 points for Bradley (18-14), the fifth seed. Bradley was 0-3 against Northern Iowa this season, the first two losses by a combined eight points, and the third meeting was tied at 32 at halftime.
Ahelegbe scored the last four points in a 10-0 run that put Northern Iowa ahead 55-44 with 8:18 to play. Bradley got no closer than a seven-point deficit the rest of the way while going 1-for-9 from 3-point range after the break.