March 1, 2014
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The Missouri State Lady Bears spotted Evansville the first 10 points of the game Saturday afternoon and never took the lead despite several second-half runs in a 72-65 loss to the Purple Aces inside the Ford Center.
Missouri State fell to 13-15 overall and 8-9 in Missouri Valley Conference play, while UE improved to 13-14 and 8-8 in league games with its sixth consecutive win.
Evansville got off to a quick start and led 10-0 just 3:01 into the game as the Lady Bears came up empty on their first seven possessions before scoring on a Bry Snow layup with 15:36 to play. The Purple Aces pushed their lead to double figures at 17-6 with 10:38 on the clock, and ripped off a 7-0 run over 74 seconds to lead 24-8 with 8:39 remaining.
UE led by 19 when MSU’s NiJay Gaines and Lexi Hughes hit 3-pointers 42 seconds apart, and baskets by Katie Palmer and Gaines followed for a 10-0 run to get the Lady Bears to 31-22 with 3:01 left in the half. The Purple Aces closed the half strong, shooting 51.6 percent for a 39-26 lead at the break.
The Purple Aces led by 15 early in the second period when Palmer scored eight points in three minutes to help the Lady Bears close the gap to five points. Her baseline jumper capped a 6-0 run and made it a 43-34 game at the 17:09 mark, and the freshman followed with a pair of 3-pointers around a Hillary Chvatal layup to make it 47-42 with 14:15 remaining.
Tyonna Snow’s steal and layup made it a five-point game again at 51-46 with 12:41 to play, but the Aces had the lead back in double figures 31 seconds later at 56-46.
The Lady Bears made several runs at UE over the game’s final 12 minutes, cutting the deficit to six points or less on six occasions while UE never led by more than 11 over that time.
Tyonna Snow hit layups to pull MSU to 68-63 with 1:36 to go and 70-65 with 46 ticks on the clock, and the Lady Bears forced a pair of UE turnovers after that but were unable to capitalize, failing to score on their final three possessions.
Palmer led the scoring with 15 points while Bry Snow added 14 and Chvatal had a career-high nine with seven rebounds. Tyonna Snow had eight points, seven boards, four assists and four steals.
The Lady Bears held a 41-35 rebounding edge and forced 22 turnovers with 16 steals, but committed 22 turnovers and shot 38.8 percent compared to 50 percent for the Aces.
Missouri State closes the regular season Sunday (March 9) with a 2 p.m. game at league-leading Wichita State (22-5, 13-3).