The Missouri State Lady Bears pushed 22nd-ranked Oklahoma State to the final seconds Tuesday in their season opener at JQH Arena before falling 74-71 to the Cowgirls (2-0).
Freshman Tyonna Snow put together one of the most memorable debuts in Lady Bear history and played a huge role at the end of the contest. Snow converted a three-point play with 13.8 to go to pull MSU within 72-71, capping a 19-point night that featured eight steals, the fourth-highest total in school history and the most in a debut.
After closing to a single point, Missouri State fouled the Cowgirls and Snow appeared to have forced a jump ball with the possession arrow in MSU’s favor after the second free throw, only to see a foul whistled on the home team to send OSU to the line again. The Cowgirls missed the free throw, MSU rebounded and sprinted down the court before an untimely turnover sealed the game for OSU.
The Lady Bears were hot from beyond the arc early, getting treys from Kenzie Williams and Hannah Wilkerson in the first 75 seconds and another from Bry Snow for a 10-9 lead. OSU went ahead by four points before Whitney Edie hit MSU’s fifth trey of the half for a 16-16 tie at the 13:17 mark and accounted for eight straight MSU points that made for a 21-20 lead with 9:01 left in the first period.
Tyonna Snow played a major role over the next four minutes as she grabbed two steals, hit two layups and made a free throw for a 26-26 deadlock with 4:55 remaining.
Freshman Hillary Chvatal followed with five points and Williams added a free throw for an 8-0 run that ended with the Lady Bears leading 32-26 with 2:33 to play. Tyonna Snow hit and elbow jumper and Wilkerson hit two free throws for a 36-27 lead before OSU made a jumper for the 36-29 halftime margin as MSU closed on a 12-3 run over the final 6:15.
Oklahoma State opened the second half on a 10-0 run and held the Lady Bears scoreless for more than five minutes before Karly Buer hit the tying 3-pointer for a 39-39 score with 14:42 to play.
The Cowgirls built their lead to 54-46 with 9:51 remaining thanks to six straight points from reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Liz Donohoe, and led by double digits at 61-50 with 7:23 to play before a 7-0 MSU run.
Tyonna Snow started things off with a steal and a layup before Desiree Phillips hit a 3-pointer 30 seconds later to make it 61-55. Bry Snow hit two free throws with 4:58 left to make it 61-57 before Donohoe quieted the crowd with her fourth 3-pointer. MSU pulled within four points twice more and OSU scored twice for a 70-62 lead and 2:09 to play.
Missouri State answered with a Buer jumper, two Tyonna Snow free throws and a Bry Snow layup for a 70-68 game with 1:02 left.
The Lady Bears shot 46-percent from the floor (23-50) and 8-for-13 from 3-point land. Bry Snow scored a career-high 12 points and Edie had 10 points and eight rebounds in a career-high 34 minutes.
Missouri State returns to action Thursday at 7 p.m. at Arkansas-Little Rock (1-0) in a game that will be televised in Springfield on Ozarks CW.