The Missouri St. Lady Bears’ magical run ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday with a 73-52 loss to 11th-ranked Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. One week earlier, MSU emerged from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a league crown and an automatic bid to the NCAA, despite a 17-14 record.
The 13th-seeded Lady Bears jumped out to a 22-12 lead in the first half when senior guard Kari Koch turned a steal into a lay up with 9:19 to go. But fourth-seeded Purdue proved to be too strong, going on a 20-5 run to close out the half and led Missouri St. 32-27 at the half.
Missouri St. wasn’t ready to give up just yet, though. They scored the first four points of the second half and cut the deficit to 32-31, but the Boilermakers again responded with a 7-0 run to get the cushion the needed to eventually win the game.
Koch finished the game with a team-high 11 points, with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. She wrapped up her career with 2,073 points, which is second in school history, behind only Jackie Stiles. Fellow senior Sarah Klaassen scored ten points and pulled down six rebounds.
Aya Traore led Purdue with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Erin Lawless scored 19 and had nine rebounds.
Missouri St. ended the season with a 17-15 record.
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