Feb. 14, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. -- Missouri State played its best defensive game of the Missouri Valley Conference season for the first 30 minutes Thursday evening before the home-standing Creighton Bluejays got hot with a decisive 17-1 run to pull away to a 67-51 victory at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha.
Missouri State (12-12, 4-8 MVC) led 41-37 with 14:03 remaining on a 3-point play by Tyonna Snow, and held a 45-44 advantage with 10:41 left on a NiJay Gaines basket before the Bluejays (17-6, 9-3) responded with their 17-1 run over the course of five minutes, holding the Lady Bears to only a Kenzie Williams free throw while the clock ran down to under four minutes remaining.
Creighton began the game on a 13-0 run in less than four minutes, but the Lady Bears weathered the storm and had an 18-17 lead with 9:28 to play. Whitney Edie’s 3-point play got MSU on the board at the 16:11 mark and Karly Buer added another 52 seconds later before a 10-0 run culminated with Gaines hitting a free-throw jumper for the 18-17 advantage.
CU’s Marissa Janning hit her third and fourth 3-pointers to begin an 8-2 run that put the home team ahead 25-20 with 6:02 left in the half, and Buer tied the game at 25-all with a trey at the 3:50 mark before the Bluejays scored six quick points to lead 31-25 just more than a minute later. Hannah Wilkerson then made a 3-pointer and Buer added another basket to pull the Lady Bears within 31-30 at the break.
Missouri State split three sets of free throws its first three trips down the floor in the second half to lead 33-31 with 18:29 remaining, only to see Creighton take it right back with two buckets before Williams knocked down two free throws and a 3-pointer for MSU’s largest lead to that point at 38-35 with 15:07 to play.
Williams led MSU in scoring with 12 points, including 7-for-8 from the foul line, and Buer scored eight points to go with a career-high eight rebounds. Gaines also established a career high with six boards as MSU led 41-39 in that category.
Christiana Shorter blocked two shots to move into a tie with Tia Mays for second in MSU history with 107 career stuffs.
Janning scored 26 for the Jays and made six 3-pointers, and Creighton shot 10-for-26 from distance on its national-leading 9.5 per game average. MSU shot just 30.4 percent (17-56) overall and 3-for-13 from 3-point range.
Missouri State travels to Drake (7-16, 2-10) Saturday at 4 p.m. for a game that will be televised live on Mediacom 22 in Springfield. The Bulldogs lost 74-65 to Wichita State Thursday.