Feb. 2, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Missouri State overcame an eight-point second-half deficit at Drake Thursday evening to escape the Knapp Center in Des Moines with a 69-66 victory over the Bulldogs in Missouri Valley Conference action.
The Lady Bears improved to 14-6 overall and 7-3 in league play, moving within a game of the lead thanks to Creighton win over Wichita State Thursday. Drake fell to 11-10 and 5-5 in MVC games.
Both teams struggled offensively in the game’s opening minutes as Missouri State held just a 9-8 lead at the second media timeout before Casey Garrison hit a jumper and Christiana Shorter nabbed a steal and layup 18 seconds later for a 13-8 advantage with 11:25 left in the half.
Drake’s Rachael Hackbarth, the MVC’s leader in scoring and rebounding, took over from there, scoring 15 straight Drake points while forcing three separate ties of Lady Bear leads of at least four points. From 21-21, MSU scored five straight, capped by Jaleshia Roberson’s three-pointer at the 3:23 mark to lead 26-21, but Drake reeled off an 8-0 run from there to grab its first lead since 3-2 and go into half ahead 31-28.
Hackbarth netted 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the first period, though the rest of the Bulldogs went 3-for-14. Drake did shoot 13 free throws to MSU’s four to counteract a 10-7 deficit in turnovers. Missouri State got eight points from Karly Buer and shot 39 percent (11-28) from the floor.
Two early treys by the Bulldogs in the second half put the home team ahead 37-29 before Lacey Boshe started a Missouri State run by converting a three-point play that included Hackbarth’s third personal foul for a 39-34 score. Boshe scored a fast-break layup on the next possession, Garrison followed with a jumper, and the Lady Bears netted four free throws their next time down the floor, two thanks to an intentional foul committed against Jasmine Malone and two more by Garrison to finish an 11-0 run in just 2:07 of game time.
A free throw was Drake’s only point in what ended as a 15-1 run for the Lady Bears with a 46-40 lead and 12:36 to play before Hackbarth’s fourth personal came with MSU leading 46-42 and 11:19 remaining.
Missouri State led for the next six minutes until Kyndal Clark nailed a deep three for a 54-54 deadlock and 5:28 remaining. Buer responded with a three-point play just 10 seconds later, Carly Grenfell hit a tying three on Drake’s next possession and Hackbarth hit a pair of free throws with 4:01 left to give the Bulldogs a 59-57 lead.
Garrison tied the game at 59 with a mid-range jumper before Shorter took control with a steal and layup for the lead, drew a charge for Hackbarth’s fifth foul, and then scored MSU’s next two baskets for a 65-59 lead and 1:08 left to play.
Drake hit a triple with 60 seconds left and then sank two free throws after MSU came up empty to pull within 65-64 with 25.8 seconds to go. Malone calmly sank two free throws and Garrison hit two more around a Drake basket for a 69-66 lead and 10.7 seconds left, and Shorter kept Clark from getting a clean look at a triple as time expired to preserve the win.
Shorter and Garrison led MSU with 16 points while Shorter had five steals for the third consecutive game. Buer added 15 for her fifth consecutive game in double figures to go with a career-high eight rebounds.
The Lady Bears forced 19 turnovers while committing just 11 and shot 44.6 percent (25-56) overall and 77.3 percent (17-22) from the foul line. Drake shot 42 percent and held a 36-32 rebounding advantage. Hackbarth finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Missouri State travels to Creighton (12-9, 6-4) Saturday for a 4:05 p.m. contest.