RICHMOND, Ky. -- Missouri State put together its best defensive performance of the season Thursday at Eastern Kentucky, holding the Lady Colonels to 28.8 percent shooting with season-highs of 12 steals and five blocked shots, but it was not enough as the home team came away with a 65-61 win at McBrayer Arena.
Tyonna Snowscored a team-high 19 points and grabbed seven steals for the Lady Bears (1-6), and Kenzie Williamsadded 18 while shooting 10-for-10 from the foul line. MSU held EKU (5-5) to 19-for-66 shooting, but lost the rebounding battle 52-38 and surrendered 24 offensive boards that led to 17 second-chance points for the Lady Colonels.
Missouri State’s defense held the Lady Colonels to 2-for-15 shooting in the early-going and led 9-5 on a Lexi Hughes3-pointer at the 13:45 mark before the Eastern Kentucky defense returned the favor, keeping the Lady Bears off the scoreboard for an even five minutes before Williams hit a layup to end a 9-0 run and make it 14-11 with 8:45 to play.
Tyonna Snowscored MSU’s next five points with a layup and three free throws and Williams got the lead back at 18-16 with 5:50 left. The score was tied five more times before halftime and Tyonna Snow’s free throw with 5.2 seconds on the clock put the Lady Bears up 29-28 at the break.
Hughes buried a trio of 3-pointers in the first period and the MSU defense recorded five blocked shots and limited the Lady Colonels to 22 percent shooting.
Tyonna Snowstormed out of the locker room with three steals and seven points in the first 3:46 of the second half to give the Lady Bears their largest lead of the game at 38-33.
Williams tallied the next four MSU points for a 42-35 advantage with 14:25 to play, and Hillary Chvatalscored to make it 44-37 with 13:38 left before the Lady Colonels began to chip away.
EKU was within one possession less than two minutes later and retook the lead at 47-46 on Marie Carpenter’s jumper at the 9:42 mark.
The lead changed hands four times over the next three-plus minutes - the last on a Carpenter trey from the left corner that began a 7-0 run for EKU - before Williams ended Eastern Kentucky’s run and MSU’s four-minute scoring drought with two free throws at the 2:43 mark for a 57-54 deficit.
The Lady Bears were within two points on three occasions after that, including Tyonna Snow’s 3-point play with 33.7 seconds left for a 62-61 score, and gained possession on an EKU missed free with 17.2 seconds to set up the final play, but a turnover with 4.4 seconds left gave the Lady Colonels the ball and two free throws sealed the win for the home team.
Tyonna Snow’s seven steals tied for the No. 8 single-game total in school history, while she shared team-high rebounding honors with older sister Bry and Chvatal at seven each.
The Lady Bears open a three-game homestand Dec. 15 when Lamar comes to JQH Arena for a 12:05 p.m. tip.
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