ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Amy Gallagher sank a 10-footer with 0.3 seconds left to give Evansville an improbable 47-45 win over Creighton on Sunday to claim the Missouri Valley women's tournament championship.
The Purple Aces (15-18) are the first No. 9 seed to win the title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. It's their first trip to the tournament since 1999, when Evansville also beat Creighton in the MVC tournament final.
Ashley Austin, the tournament's most valuable player, scored 17 points and Shannon Novosel added 11 for the Aces, who hit just 14-of-49 shots. Gallagher's winning shot was Evansville's first field goal since the 7:43 mark of the second half.
The second-seeded Jays (21-11) were led by Kelsey Woodard with 18 points and Megan Neuvirth with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams had double-digit runs in the first half before Creighton took a 26-24 lead at halftime. The Aces scored 11 straight after giving up the opening basket of the game, and later went on a 9-0 run to take a 20-7 lead. The Jays answered Evansville's second run with 17 straight points to take a 24-20 lead.