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After falling to as many as 15 points behind their opponent in the second half of play, the Missouri State Lady Bears charged back with a 21 to nothing run to defeat Bradley Thursday night in first round action of the Missouri Valley Conference women's basketball tournament. The Final Score was 69-64.
Creighton was also a winner at Hammons Student Center last night, defeating Southern Illinois 54-51.
Quarter-final and semi-final action continues tonight and tomorrow at Hammons Student Center where the championship game will be held Sunday.
Meanwhile, a cheerleading accident last weekend which garnered national attention at the men's Missouri Valley Tournament has prompted conference authorities to set new restriction on stunts cheerleading squads can perform.
KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports:
The Missouri State Cheerleaders may be cheering for the Lady Bears, but not for new restrictions on certain stunts cheerleading squads from the ten Missouri Valley Conference schools can perform at the women's conference basketball tournament this weekend.
A ruling by M-V-C commissioner Doug Elgin barred any stunts more than two levels high and any routines with people launched into the air.
This ruling comes after a cheerleader from Southern Illinois University fell 15 feet onto her head Sunday.
Kristi Yamaoka suffered a concussion and fractured neck when she fell from the top of a human pyramid during a time-out late in the Salukis' victory in the Missouri Valley Conference title game in St. Louis.
She was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Yamaoka gained national attention when she finished out her cheer while being wheeled off the court on a gurney.
Cheerleaders at Missouri State say the new restrictions hurt their ability to entertain the crowd.
Kristen Jobe is a senior at Missouri State and says the resrictions lower the value of cheerleaders.
J.R. Longstaff is the head cheerleading coach at Missouri State.
He says he thinks the M-V-C is taking precautionary measures.
In addition to restrictions by the Missouri Valley Conference, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, which sets cheerleading safety standards, recommended the new restrictions be extended through the end of this basketball season.
Longstaff says one isolated incident does not represent cheerleading in general.
J.R. Longstaff says cheerleaders take many precautions before doing stunts and that they are normally safe.
According to a 1990s study by U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, cheerleading injuries ranked 5th after football, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics for participants ages five through 24.
Kristen Jobe says cheerleaders get treated differently than other mainstream sports.
Jeremy Vincent, a junior on the cheer squad, at Missouri State says the new restrictions change the squad's routines.
For now the cheerleaders at Missouri State University say they will concentrate on supporting the team and hope the restrictions are reversed.
Christy Hendricks...KSMU News.