Shockers Pull Out 52-51 Victory to End Lady Bears' Season
ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Daria Frazier’s free throw with 6.6 seconds to play provided the final difference in Wichita State’s 52-51 win over the Missouri State Lady Bears Thursday (March 12) evening, but it was WSU’s defense down the stretch that catapulted the 10th-seeded Shockers to victory in the opening round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Frazier scored 11 points in the second half and Wichita State held the Lady Bears scoreless over the final 3:54 to overcome a five-point deficit and advance to a quarterfinal-round match-up against Creighton Friday evening.
The last of Frazier’s game-high 15 points gave the Shockers their first lead since the 8:54 mark and capped a 6-0 run to close the game. Ashley Gladden’s layup with 2:38 to go started the spurt, and Val Siemens' three-pointer with 1:47 to play evened the score at 51-51.Frazier drew a foul on a drive to the basket and sank her first free throw before her second attempt rimmed out. But WSU’s Marcy Sudbeck corralled the rebound, milking nearly three seconds off the clock before losing the ball out of bounds. But Casey Garrison’s final shot from 25-feet was off the mark, handing Wichita State its first MVC Tournament win in seven years.
For the Lady Bears, the loss ended a 10-20 season and their quest for an unprecedented 10th conference tournament title. It also overshadowed another standout performance from Garrison, who scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half, including eight straight for MSU over a two-and-a-half minute span to help the Lady Bears build their largest lead of the night with just under four minutes to play.
Two Melissa Busby three-pointers sparked a pair of key MSU scoring runs to help stake the Lady Bears to a 23-22 halftime lead. After the Lady Bears scored the first four points of the game on baskets from Jasmine Malone and Garrison, the Shockers used a pair of three-pointers by Val Siemens and Jacie Hoyt to build a five-point lead in the opening minutes of the contest. Busby’s first three-pointer at the 12:50 mark started an 11-2 Missouri State run that would put the Lady Bears back on top with just under 11 minutes to play in the period.
WSU would even the score at 18-18 on a Hoyt layup with 6:27 to go, but Busby struck from long range again to start a 5-0 spurt that would give the Lady Bears their largest lead of the half. Wichita State would go more than five minutes without scoring before Frazier converted two short field goal attempts in the final 1:18 to draw the Shockers to within one point.
But the Lady Bears couldn’t quite shake the Shockers in the second half, as the two teams exchanged the lead eight times in the first 12 minutes of the period. MSU briefly took a four-point lead on Busby’s third three-pointer of the game with 13:34 to play, but the Shockers answered with six straight points over the ensuing two minutes to reclaim a two-point edge.
Neither team would assume a lead larger than three points until Garrison sparked MSU’s last run.
Busby totaled eight points of her 11 points on the night and three steals off the Missouri State bench to help the Lady Bears overcome a 32 percent shooting performance from the field in the first half. MSU turned in a solid defensive effort, holding the Shockers to just .290 shooting. WSU would respond with a strong second half, hitting 41.4 percent of their field goal attempts.