skip to nav skip to content
Desiree Phillips (3) heads down-court for the Missouri State Lady Bears as they host Drake at JQH Arena Image by Chase Snider / KTTS News
The MSU Lady Bears get their first conference win in a thriller, beating Drake 80-77 Saturday afternoon at JQH Arena.
Bry Snow came away with the ball after a missed free throw by Whitney Edie and put it back in with 13 seconds left in regulation, giving MSU a 78-77 lead.
Edie all but sealed the game by making two free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining.
Drake had one last chance to tie it, but Kyndal Clark's shot was blocked by Kenzie Williams and the Lady Bears celebrated on the court.
Edie had 25 points to lead Missouri State, pulling down ten rebounds for a double-double. Williams added 14. Clark, a Webb City graduate, had a game high 26 points for Drake.
The Lady Bears survived a turnover-plagued first half (14 for Missouri State and 12 for Drake), leading 36-33 at the intermission.
Drake grabbed a 37-36 lead less than a minute into the second half, but Edie quickly responded with a three pointer to put MSU ahead 39-37.
The Lady Bears used a 9-0 run to grab their largest lead of the game, 45-37, with 16:37 remaining. But Drake stayed in the game with three pointers, hitting 11 of 20 attempts on the afternoon.
The Bulldogs tied the contest 68-68 with 5:36 to play when Morgan Reid connected on a shot, then took the lead moments later on Clark's layup.
When Clark hit her fourth three pointer of the game with 3:37 on the clock, it put Drake ahead 73-69 and moments later, Reid's layup made it a six point game, capping a 15-1 run by the Bulldogs.
But MSU came together at the perfect time and took control. Hannah Wilkerson's three pointer with 1:18 to play pulled the Lady Bears within a point, 75-74. Then Bry Snow gave MSU a 76-75 lead with 46 seconds left.
After Clark hit two free throws to pull the Bulldogs ahead 77-76 with 30 seconds remaining, Edie was fouled and missed both free throws with 16 seconds to play, but Snow was there to save the game and get the winning shot three seconds later.
Snow downplayed the winning shot. "It's not the last shot, it's what we did throughout the game, and we played a better game as a team today. I think we were all just excited. We're glad we got the win. It's at home, and we protected our house."
Williams says the Lady Bears needed this win as a confidence booster. "Just getting over that hump of getting our first conference win. It just gives us more confidence. Three losses in a row doesn't have confidence for anybody."
Missouri State Head Coach Nyla Milleson says it was a much needed win for her team. "We really had our back up against the wall those last couple of minutes and made plays and found a way to win. I'm very excited and very proud of this basketball team for staying together and finding a way."
Milleson says the experience her team gained on last week's road trip (a loss at Northern Iowa and a last second defeate at Bradley) helped. "It was a lot of the same scenario, except we were up and didn't execute very well. So we had to get stops today. It's just a matter of buckling down and playing on both ends of the floor and having the discipline to do what's expected of you. I really saw and sensed a togetherness today at the end of that game. Even when things were kind of crumbling a little bit, they stayed together. They continued to talk, continued to communicate, and they wanted to win this ball game."
The victory marked Milleson's 100th career win at Missouri State (100-77 in her sixth season). "We just needed a win," Milleson said. "You put good people around you, both as a staff and as players, and those wins come. I've been very humbled and very honored."
The Lady Bears improve to 9-7 overall, 1-3 in the Valley. Drake drops to 5-11, 0-5.
Missouri State will host Valley-leading Creighton Monday night at JQH Arena. Tipoff is 7:05.
|Submit photos to: