Missouri State hung with Missouri Valley Conference co-champion Wichita State for the game’s first 30 minutes Friday evening before falling to the Shockers by a 71-53 margin in the quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament. MSU’s season ends with a 14-17 record, while WSU improved to 24-6.
The Shockers used an early 8-0 run to lead 15-6 and built a double-digit advantage at 22-11 just over eight minutes into the game. Missouri State responded with a 7-0 run as Desiree Phillips buried a 3-pointer for a 24-19 deficit at the 7:36 mark, and Bry Snow added a shot in traffic to close within a possession at 27-25 with 4:41 remaining after a 13-3 run.
NiJay Gaines scored for 29-27 before the Shockers scored the final three points of the half to lead 32-27 at the break as the teams played even for the final 18 minutes of the period.
Wichita State extended its run to 9-0 by scoring the first six points of the second half to lead 38-27, and the rest of the game was characterized by big runs from both sides.
MSU cut the lead under 10 points twice when the Shockers ripped off an 8-0 run to lead 50-33 with 12:23 remaining. The Lady Bears countered with their own 8-0 run, including seven points from Phillips for a 50-41 deficit with 10:13 left, but WSU fought right back with a 9-0 spurt to go ahead 59-41 and seal the game, leading by at least 15 points for the balance of the contest.
Phillips led the Lady Bears with a career-high 13 points in her 104th and final game, while fellow seniors Hannah Wilkerson (11) and Bry Snow (10) joined her in double figures. Tyonna Snow grabbed four steals to tie Carly Deer’s 2000 season for the fifth-best in school history with 93 thefts.
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