Guard play guides MSU to blowout quarterfinal win


Missouri State’s Kenzie Williams, Liza Fruendt and Tyonna Snow combined for 51 points, and the Lady Bears held their fifth straight opponent under 50 points in a 70-45 victory over Indiana State in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at iWireless Center.

The third-seeded Lady Bears (22-9) move on to play No. 2 Drake (22-8) in the semifinal round at 4 p.m. Saturday. Top-seeded UNI and No. 4 Southern Illinois also advanced.

The Sycamores (13-17) knocked down two 3-pointers in the game’s first two minutes for a 6-0 lead, and MSU spent much of the first period on the wrong side of the scoreboard before taking a late 11-10 lead.

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The Lady Bears went on to lead for all but 56 seconds over the final 30 minutes, building a double-digit lead after Fruendt scored eight consecutive points to make it 31-21 with 24.7 ticks left in the first half.

MSU held a 39-33 lead with 13 minutes left before closing strong, ripping off a 14-0 run for a 53-33 advantage on a Williams 3-pointer with 8:48 to play. The Lady Bears kept the gap above 18 points the rest of the way and led by as many as 26 in the final period.

Williams led all scorers with 19 points while Fruendt and MVC Player of the Year Tyonna Snow added 16 apiece. Snow had seven rebounds and four steals, and Hillary Chvatal led MSU with eight boards.

Missouri State shot 24-for-54 (.444) overall and limited the Sycamores to 17-for-56 (.304). MSU owned a 39-36 rebounding edge, and committed just four of its 11 turnovers after the first quarter.