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MSU's Hannah Wilkerson Protects The Basketball Against Arkansas State's Quinisha McDowell
The MSU Lady Bears finished a long finals week in style on the basketball court, downing Arkansas State 83-60 Saturday afternoon at JQH Arena.
After four first half lead changes, the Lady Bears went on a 10-0 run late in the first half to carry a 41-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
But the Red Wolves came out of the locker room on a roll, as Quinisha McDowell hit her team's first three pointer of the game with 19:23 remaining to pull ASU within seven, 41-34.
After a layup by ASU's Andi Watson, the Red Wolves pulled even closer when Carlisha Wyatt hit a shot, was fouled and made a free throw to pull within three, 41-38, with 18:35 left in regulation.
But after Arkansas State cut the lead to two with 17:29 left, Karly Buer hit a big three pointer, her third of four on the afternoon, to put Missouri State ahead 46-41 with 14:25 to play. It sparked MSU to a 9-0 run and the Lady Bears pulled away down the stretch.
Kenzie Williams led four players in double figures for Missouri State, finishing with 15 points. Hannah Wilkerson, Buer, and Tyonna Snow had 14 points each. Jane Morrill's 17 points were tops for the Red Wolves.
"A big smile for Karly Buer," Lady Bears Head Coach Nyla Milleson said in her postgame interview. "She's such a good player. She works so hard. We knew that she was going to come out of it at some point and time, and she did today."
Buer says it also felt good after not hitting some shots early in the season. "Every shot I take, I think it's going to go in, even if I'm shooting horrible." Buer said. "It finally paid off and some of them were falling."
Snow says her team was able to keep its edge even after a rough start to the second half. "We've come out of the locker room not so well anymore. We're trying to find some way to come out well and do what we have to do."
The Lady Bears took care of business at the free throw line, hitting 18 of 23 attempts, including and 8-8 performance by Wilkerson. The Red Wolves were 14-19.
MSU connected on nine of 17 three point attempts, but ASU was cold, going only 2-20 from beyond the arc.
Milleson says she's proud of her team's overall effort Saturday. "End of finals week, so many things going on," Milleson said. "It was a blessing to be able to step on the floor today and play the game we love. I thought we did a lot of really, really good things, short of coming out of the locker room flat once more."
Milleson says the Lady Bears also had a very good defensive effort and intensity. "We continue to tweak some lineups to find out best defensive lineups, but still are able to be efficient on offense. With a week of offense, we've been able to work on some of those substitution patterns.'
Missouri State improves to 6-3 with the win, while Arkansas State drops to 2-7.
The Lady Bears will play at Iowa Wednesday evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30
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