Bradley rallies big, beats Northern Iowa for MVC title

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ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) - ST. LOUIS (AP) - Bradley rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half and earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006, beating Northern Iowa 57-54 Sunday in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game.

Elijah Childs scored 16 points and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 13 for fifth-seeded Bradley (20-14). The Braves advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time overall - in their last appearance, as a 13th seed, they beat Kansas and Pittsburgh before losing to Memphis.

Bradley trailed 35-17 with 17 minutes left to play. The Braves used a 12-0 run to get close, then scored six straight points to go up 55-50 on a layup by Childs with 1:41 left. Lautier-Ogunleye had four free throws during the late surge.

Luqman Lundy had 11 points as Bradley won the MVC Tournament title for the first time 1988.

AJ Green led sixth-seeded Northern Iowa (16-18) with 23 points.

The Panthers rushed to a 14-2 lead. Bradley had separate stretches of nearly nine minutes and more than six minutes where it didn't score in the first half, then hit 15 of 26 shots after the break.