The Missouri State Lady Bears get a three pointer from sophomore Sydney Manning at the buzzer to beat the Drake Bulldogs 69-67 Friday night at JQH Arena.
The win over the preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley Conference came in front of 3,015 loud fans who braved severe storms in the area to see a signature win for the 18th ranked Lady Bears, who improve to 13-2 overall and 3-0 in the Valley.
Drake drops to 9-5 overall, 1-1 in league play.
The game featured eight ties and six lead changes, but fortunately for Missouri State fans, the last possession of the night belonged to the Lady Bears, who went on an 8-0 run to close out the game.
Missouri State brought the ball in-bounds with 13 seconds left and trailing the Bulldogs 67-66, but Manning, Alexa Willard and Brice Calip continued to pass the ball trying to find someone for an open shot. Calip got the ball to sophomore Sydney Wilson just inside the arc with 3.1 seconds left, but she was double-teamed and started to fall down as she dribbled to the free throw line.
Wilson somehow flipped the ball to her left to Manning, who was standing behind the arc when she took the pass with one second left and let the jumper fly with about seven tenths of a second remaining.
The ball hit nothing but net as Manning jumped into the arms of her teammates to celebrate.
— MSU Lady Bears (@MSULadyBears) January 11, 2020
Missouri State led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but Drake cut the lead to 33-29 at the half.
The two teams traded leads on several occasions in the third quarter and went into the final team minutes tied 52-52.
The Bulldogs used a 7-0 run to take a 65-58 lead with 3:35 left in regulation, but the Lady Bears got some big free throws down the stretch to pull closer.
Emily Gartner and Calip hit some big free throws down the stretch to pull MSU within one, 67-66.
Drake’s Kierra Collier missed a shot with 21 seconds remaining, and the Lady Bears got the ball back for the final possession, setting up Manning’s heroics.
Missouri State hit 21 of 27 attempts from the free throw line in Friday’s game, led by Calip’s 8-10 and Gartner’s 8-12 performance.
Manning led MSU in scoring with 16 points, while Jasmine Franklin posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Sara Rhine led all scorers with 23 points for Drake, while Becca Hittner scored 16 points, going 12-13 at the free throw line.
The Lady Bears continue Valley play with a 2:00 p.m. tip-off Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
The win by Missouri State snaps Drake’s 29 game Valley road winning streak.
The Lady Bears have topped the Bulldogs four times since 2016. No other Valley team has won against Drake during that period.
MSU is now 37-5 since December 20th, 2018, ranking fourth nationally in total wins since that date.
The Lady Bears are off to their best start since the 2003-04 team opened 20-1, and the best home start since that same team finished 17-0 at Hammons Center.