Dec. 1, 2012
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State grabbed a Missouri Valley Conference-record 68 rebounds and used career highs of 22 points, 16 rebounds and five steals from senior Whitney Edie to escape JQH Arena with a 70-67 victory over visiting Northern Kentucky Saturday afternoon in Springfield.
The Lady Bears (5-2) pulled down 35 offensive boards to help negate 31.6 percent shooting, and trailed by nine points with under eight minutes to play before scratching out their fourth consecutive victory, all by less than 10 points. Northern Kentucky fell to 1-5.
Missouri State jumped out to a 14-6 lead less than six minutes into the game and looked poised for a runaway until going cold from the field. Northern Kentucky cut MSU’s lead to three or fewer on six separate occasions as the Lady Bears dropped to 9-for-42 from the floor in the first half, their only saving grace being a 40-17 rebounding advantage for a 30-28 lead at the break.
The Lady Bears went without a point for nearly four minutes to begin the second half and NKU briefly gained the lead until a 6-0 run capped by a Hannah Wilkerson jumper and two Mikala McGhee free throws made it 38-34 MSU with 13:36 to play.
The Norse went on a 15-4 run over the next four minutes to go ahead 49-42 with 9:50 to play, then hit back-to-back 3-pointers after MSU cut the deficit to three points to make it 55-46 with 7:46 on the clock. Edie tallied five points in the next 39 seconds for a 55-51 score and McGhee added a free throw at 6:03 for a 55-52 margin.
NKU then converted a three-point play its next trip down the floor before Kenzie Williams, Wilkerson and Bry Snow made baskets for a new ball game at 58-58 with 4:33 to play, and great ball movement from Wilkerson to Williams to Edie briefly gave MSU a 60-58 lead at the 3:58 mark before an NKU trey gave the visitors the lead back 15 seconds later.
Williams drained a trey off another Wilkerson assist at the 3:04 mark, the Norse answered on their next possession before Bry Snow, Edie and Christiana Shorter combined for a 6-0 run and 70-64 lead with 70 seconds to play. NKU hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left and neither team scored after that in a chaotic final minute.
Missouri State’s rebounding total broke a 28-year-old school record that stood since a 66-board performance against Harding on Nov. 26, 1984, while also topping the MVC record of 67 set by Evansville in March 2005. MSU finished with a plus-30 margin on the glass.
Edie score 16 points and grabbed nine boards after halftime on the way to her fourth consecutive double-double. Williams added 14 points, and McGhee’s six points, seven rebounds and three assists and went for career highs.
The Lady Bears return to action Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. when they visit Columbia, Mo., to renew the series with Missouri for the first time since 2004.