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MSU's Karly Buer Drives Against Coppin State
The MSU Lady Bears survived a brief scare from Coppin State, winning 88-75 Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
Missouri State, who had a 46-35 halftime lead and went up by as many as 15 points in the second half, saw Coppin State cut it to a two point game, 69-67, with 6:55 left in regulation.
But the Lady Bears went on an 11-0 run to pull away from the Eagles.
Senior Whitney Edie had a career high 26 points to lead MSU, while redshirt freshman Kenzie Williams put in 21, also a career high. Williams hit five three pointers. Hannah Wilkerson had eight assists to go along with her eight points.
Shawntae Payne had 18 points to lead Coppin State.
The Lady Bears drained nine of 19 attemts from the three point line, but one of the biggest weaknesses, and a big part of what allowed Coppin State to get back in the game, was free throw shooting.
Missouri State shot just 50% from the foul line (19-38), and senior Christiana Shorter made only two of 13 free throw attempts.
Lady Bears Head Coach Nyla Milleson says it's hard to ignore the missed free throws helping the Eagles get back into the game. "As a coach, there's a fine line," Milleson said. "With Chris, we've got to continue to work some mechanical things, but she's shooting a ton of free throws. It's not like she isn't working at it. One positive you've got to give her, and it wasn't a positive at the end of the year when she started struggling with free throws, is today she stayed aggressive and she continued to go to the boards. She continued to want the basketball. She continued to want to put her team on her back and get to the free throw line, where last year she just took herself out."
Milleson says with the exception of free throw shooting, her team did a lot of good things Sunday. "We did a good job distributing the basketball. We did a really good job finding Kenzie and getting her open looks. This team's pretty talented offensively. We've got to buckle down some spots defensively, and I think a lot of that is consistency when you get up. We're just not able to clamp down and stay at that consistent level."
Williams credits her team with her offensive performance. "They were going in today. I got some great passes from my teammates, so that always helps. We had great ball movement and extra passes, so it just happened to be me hitting today."
Edie also gives all the credit for her great game to her fellow players. "Just finish shots. My guards got me the ball. So it was just falling for me today."
MSU wraps up non conference play with a record of 8-4. They'll open Missouri Valley Conference action Thursday night at Wichita State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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