March 15, 2012
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State Lady Bears (23-8) overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat visiting UMKC (22-12) by an 81-79 final Thursday in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at JQH Arena in Springfield. MSU moves on to play Memphis (25-7) on Saturday (March 17) at 7 p.m. at JQH. The Tigers defeated Chattanooga 60-59 on Thursday.
UMKC’s 11-2 run early in the second half put the Kangaroos ahead 51-42 with 14:51 to play and forced the Lady Bears to play comeback until Jaleshia Roberson canned a three-pointer for a 62-61 lead with 6:25 remaining.
It was a new game at 64-64 with 5:46 to go, and Roberson gave the Lady Bears two-point leads with free throws and then a trey for a 69-67 advantage with 4:52 left. The ‘Roos converted a three-point play to go ahead 74-71 with 3:35 left, and Edie countered with three free throws over the next two possessions for a 74-74 deadlock and 2:40 to play.
Christiana Shorter’s layup put MSU ahead for good 76-74 with 1:32 to play, and the Kangaroos missed four free throws and a field goal their next three times down the floor, while Karly Buer hit two free throws and Jasmine Malone added another make it 79-74 with 24.5 seconds to go.
UMKC drained a triple with 11.5 left to make it a one possession game, but Whitney Edie sealed it with two charity tosses with 7.7 seconds to go for the 81-77 advantage. The Kangaroos hit a bucket as time expired for the final margin.
The Lady Bears shot a blistering 62.1 percent in the first half but still trailed 40-38 at the break thanks to 12 turnovers. MSU made its first three shots but only led 6-5 when the Kangaroos rolled off a 10-2 run to lead 15-8 at the 15:13 mark.
Edie hit two layups to begin an 8-0 run in response, and UMKC regained momentum to go ahead 26-22. Another 8-0 Lady Bear run made for a 30-26 lead with 5:21 left, UMKC answered with a 5-0 run to regain the advantage, and the lead switched four more times with two ties heading into half as UMKC scored just before the buzzer to gain the upper hand.
The Lady Bears made 30 of 54 shots from the floor for a season-high .556 shooting percentage. Buer led MSU in points (22), rebounds (7) and assists (7) while playing all 40 minutes.
Edie scored a season-high 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while Roberson and Shorter added 10 apiece, with Shorter doing so on 5-for-5 from the floor. Desiree Phillips added eight points.
UMKC shot 43.1 percent and nabbed 10 steals while forcing 19 MSU turnovers. The game featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes.
The Lady Bears played without senior Casey Garrison, whose streak of 128 consecutive starts, the third-longest nationally, came to an end due to illness. Boshe, meanwhile, played in her 129th career game, tying Jackie Stiles for the MSU record.