Oct. 31, 2013
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State Lady Bears outscored Arkansas-Fort Smith 36-9 over the game's final 12 minutes to pull away to a 73-42 victory Thursday at JQH Arena in the exhibition opener for both teams.
Arkansas-Fort Smith trailed by just four points at 37-33 with 12:31 on the clock before Desiree Phillips and Mikala McGhee scored on back-to-back possessions to start a 14-2 MSU run over the next five minutes. Kenzie Williams hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 8:56 left to get the lead in double figures at 46-34, and freshman Rachel Swartz hit three free throws around a Tyonna Snow steal and score to put MSU ahead 51-35 with 7:36 on the clock.
Hannah Wilkerson's layup with 2:41 to play capped a 10-0 run and pushed MSU's lead above 20 for the first time at 61-40 while giving the senior game-high scoring honors alongside Tyonna Snow and Karly Buer with 10 points.
The Lady Bears were the aggressors early, attempting seven free throws and winning the rebounding battle 10-4 for an 8-1 lead before the first media timeout, and led 19-7 on a McGhee free throw with 8:47 to play.
Arkansas-Fort Smith closed MSU's lead to six points at 21-15 with 4:34 on the clock as neither team was able to gain much offensive rhythm, combining to shoot 17-for-72 from the floor in the first half with each club converting at roughly 24 percent as the Lady Bears took a 32-24 lead into the break.
All 13 players on the Missouri State roster played between 14 and 18 minutes, and each grabbed at least two rebounds as the Lady Bears out-rebounded UAFS by a 62-47 margin. MSU also forced 26 turnovers and swiped 14 steals while holding the Lady Lions to 25.4 percent shooting for the game.
Bry Snow scored nine points and corralled eight rebounds to share team-high honors with Buer. Swartz had seven rebounds and scored seven points, all from the foul line.
With the new NCAA rules in full effect, the game featured 52 total fouls and 63 free throws, with the Lady Bears taking 46 of those and making 29.
Missouri State plays its second and final exhibition contest Monday (Nov. 4) at 7 p.m. against Maryville at JQH Arena.