The Missouri State Lady Bears cracked the 90-point barrier for a second consecutive game Friday evening, out-running Bradley for a 91-86 Missouri Valley Conference victory at JQH Arena.
Kenzie Williams hit six 3-pointers on the way to a career-high 23 points to lead five Lady Bears (12-10, 4-6 MVC) in double figures, while the Braves fell to 9-12 and 3-7 in league play.
Missouri State never trailed in the game and led by as many as 13 points in each half, but the persistent Braves threw numerous runs at the Lady Bears, the last of which made it a two-point contest in the game’s final minute.
Williams’ sixth trey of the game gave MSU an 86-76 lead with just 1:40 remaining before Bradley ripped off a 7-0 run in 55 seconds to make it a one-possession game at 86-83 with 45 seconds to go.
A frenetic last few seconds included two Karly Buer free throws for an 88-83 lead followed by a BU 3-pointer and MSU turnover that gave the Braves the ball down a score with 32 seconds left .Hannah Wilkerson became the MSU hero after that, stealing a BU pass with 18 seconds to play, making one free throw, then grabbing an offensive rebound on the second of two MSU free throw misses with 7.7 ticks left before draining a pair from the charity stripe for the final margin. Williams added a blocked shot with 8.2 seconds remaining during the final sequence.
The first 38 minutes of the game played out much like the final two with the Lady Bears building substantial leads, only to see Bradley chip away. MSU led 14-8 at the first media timeout and was ahead by double digits at 21-10 on a Whitney Edie 3-pointer with 13:19 left in the first half. The Braves pulled within five points before Tyonna Snow and Williams book-ended a 14-2 MSU run with 3-pointers for a 37-21 score and 6:30 left in the period.
Missouri State’s 16-point lead evaporated in less than five minutes as the Braves used an 18-2 run to tie the game at 39-39, and Christiana Shorter, Williams and Buer each scored three points in a 9-0 run over the final 77 seconds of the first half.
MSU was back ahead by 13 with 18:09 to go in the game, and saw a 65-53 lead cut to 65-62 with 10:51 to go. The Braves pulled to 70-69 with 8:35 left before the Lady Bears went on a 12-0 run and held BU without a point for over four minutes to lead 82-69 at the 5:48 mark.
Shorter locked up her 25th career double-double before halftime and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Edie had 20 points and eight boards. Buer added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Tyonna Snow rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points.
Missouri State shot 33-71 overall compared to 34-74 for the Braves. The Lady Bears made 10 treys and out-scored BU 15-7 at the charity stripe. MSU held a 51-31 rebounding edge, including 24 offensive boards that led to 26 second-chance points.
The Lady Bears host Northern Iowa (11-11, 5-5) Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The Panthers lost 57-47 at Wichita State Friday. Sunday’s game is the annual Play4Kay game at MSU, with a number of activities scheduled to promote breast cancer awareness and treatment.