- Kenzie Williams
hit a layup as time expired Friday to give the Missouri State Lady Bears a 72-70 victory over visiting Northern Iowa at JQH Arena. With their fifth consecutive win, the Lady Bears (13-13, 10-5 Missouri Valley Conference) moved into a tie with the Panthers (14-12, 10-5) for third place in the league with three games to play.
Williams finished the contest with 13 points, while Tyonna Snow
turned a career-high 11 made field goals into 25 points to go with five rebounds and four steals. The Lady Bears turned the ball over a season-low six times.
Missouri State held a 35-34 lead at halftime after neither team led by more than five points during a tight first period, and UNI scored twice in the first 38 seconds of the second half before going through a six-minute scoring drought.
While the Panthers went cold, the Lady Bears completed a 9-0 run after Williams buried a 3-pointer for a 44-38 lead with 14:10 remaining. Snow swiped a UNI in-bounds pass and scored for a 56-45 advantage with 7:46 on the clock, but the Panthers whittled the deficit to four points before NiJay Gaines
connected on a corner trey with 4:12 left to put MSU ahead 63-56.
Snow scored again for a 65-56 lead, but UNI answered with another 6-0 run to close to 65-62 with 1:38 remaining. Another steal and score from Snow made it 69-62 with 1:07 left before the Panthers made a furious charge.
UNI hit a 3-pointer with 53.7 seconds left to close to 69-65, then hit two free throws with 21.9 seconds remaining before turning the Lady Bears over and knocking down another trey with eight ticks on the clock for the 70-all tie.
Missouri State pushed the ball up the floor and Williams took a handoff from Gaines on the right wing, drove baseline and sent in the game-winner with a left-handed layup as the horn sounded.
The Lady Bears owned a 43-37 rebounding advantage and out-scored UNI 40-28 in the paint. Hillary Chvatal
finished 6-for-9 from the floor with 13 points, and Williams led the Lady Bears with eight boards.
Missouri State hosts Drake (18-8, 13-2) at 2 p.m. Sunday. Senior NiJay Gaines
will be honored prior to her final home game, and tickets for MSU faculty and staff will be $3 at the JQH Arena box office.