The women’s basketball team to be named Southwest Missouri State went out in style on Thursday night with a 78-70 win over West Virginia in the Women’s NIT at the Hammons Student Center in Springfield. SMS, which will become Missouri State in August, used a big run in the second to put the game away.SMS trailed 36-35 at the half and the second half was back-and-forth early on. The score was tied 40-40, when K.C. Cowgill hit a three pointer to break the knot. That sparked a 22-6 run, which eventually gave them a 62-46 lead. The Mountaineers eventually cut the lead to eight, but the Lady Bears hit 15-of-18 free throws—-all in the second half—to ice the game and secure the championship. The Lady Bears were led in scoring by junior Kari Koch, who had 23 points. Senior Jenni Lingor, who turned 22 on Thursday, finished her career with a 20 point performance, while fellow senior K.C. Cowgill had 18. SMS was 11-of-29 from behind the three-point arc and set the new NCAA women’s record for three pointers in a season with 305. Jenni Lingor, who is the school’s all-time three-point leader, ended her career with 264. SMS led the nation in three point percentage (44.5%) and three’s per game (9.24).SMS wrapped up the season with a 25-8 record, while West Virginia fell to 21-13.
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