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MSU's Hannah Wilkerson Puts Pressure On Oklahoma State's Liz Donohoe
Oklahoma State came up with a steal with one second left in the game and held on to beat the MSU Lady Bears 74-71 Tuesday night at JQH Arena. It was the season opener for MSU.
Missouri State cut the Cowgirls lead to one point in the final minute, but a pair of offensive rebounds, one off a missed shot with 33 seconds remaining, and another off a missed free throw with 11 seconds on the clock, helped preserve the win for the 22nd ranked team in the nation.
The Lady Bears had a chance to tie or win the game after yet another missed free throw by OSU's Toni Young with ten seconds left in regulation and the score 73-71. Tyonna Snow grabbed the rebound, got the ball into the frontcourt, but then lost control and had the ball stripped by the Cowgirls' Tiffany Bias with one second left.
"That's not why we lost the game," MSU senior forward Whitney Edie said, referring to the steal on the final possesion. Edie says there were several other opportunities her team had that slipped away.
Missouri State Head Coach Nyla Milleson says the coaching staff challenged her team to step it up, and they did. "I'm very proud of our team......we battled hard," Milleson said. "I thought we kind of reacted to some things and offensive rebounds were the big story" (OSU had 18 compared to the Lady Bears' six offensive boards).
Milleson says while there are several positives to take from giving #22 everything they could handle, the home team wanted to win and thought they could win the game.
Freshman Tyonna Snow had 19 points to lead MSU, followed by her sister, Bry Snow, with 12 points and senior Whitney Edie with ten. Liz Donohoe has 24 points to lead Oklahoma State, while Lindsey Keller finished with a double-double, scoring 14 and pulling down ten rebounds.
Tyonna Snow's eight steals tied for fourth among single game performances in Lady Bears history.
The Lady Bears and Cowgirls went back and forth for much of the first half, with nine lead changes and five ties, but MSU went on a 12-1 run late in the half to open up a 36-29 lead going into the locker room.
But MSU came out flat to start the second half as the Cowgirls went on a 10-0 run to snatch the lead away 39-36.
Karly Buer and Desiree Phillips hit three pointers to keep things close, but OSU was able to extend the lead midway through the half, going ahead 61-50 with 7:23 left in regulation.
The Lady Bears kept battling. Trailing 70-62 with under two minutes to play, Buer hit a shot that pulled MSU within six, 70-64. Tyonna Snow cut it to four, 70-66, by sinking a pair of free throws with 1:31 remaining. Bry Snow's layup with 1:05 left made it 70-68.
Oklahoma State called time out with 37.8 seconds left and the shot clock down to five seconds. Keller missed a jumper with 33 seconds, but Tiffany Bias pulled down an offensive rebound, then drained two free throws with 24.9 seconds to put the Cowgirls ahead 72-68.
Tyonna Snow then made an amazing circus shot off the glass with 13 seconds to play, was fouled and made a free throw to pull MSU within one, 72-71.
Phillips was whisted for a foul with 11.1 seconds, and Bias made one of two free throws before Tyonna Snow committed a foul on the rebound with ten seconds remaining.
Missouri State played without senior Christiana Shorter, who has been nursing a leg injury "We were hoping to have Chris, but it didn't work out," Milleson said.
A crowd of 2,707 witnessed one of the most exciting games MSU has played since moving into JQH Arena back in 2008. It also saw last year's Lady Bears team receive rings for winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. All the players from that squad, including grads Casey Garrison, Lacey Boshe, Jaleshia Roberson and Regan Soldner were in attendance.
The Lady Bears (0-1) will play at Arkansas-Little Rock in their road opener Thursday night. Tipoff is 7:05.
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