Missouri State’s Karly Buer hit four free throws in the game’s final 61 seconds to break a 54-54 tie and hand the top-seeded Lady Bears (22-7) a 58-54 victory over No. 8 seed Bradley (17-15) in the quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament Friday afternoon at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. Missouri State trailed for most the of the game in what was nearly a statistical deadlock. Each club shot 18-of-54 from the field, each made just a trio of three-pointers with MSU attempting one more, and the Lady Bears committed 21 turnovers to Bradley’s 20. Missouri State shot 19-of-27 at the free throw line to 15-of-21 for BU, accounting for the four-point difference in the final score.
The Lady Bears trailed 26-24 at half thanks in part to a five-plus minute scoreless drought as the teams combined for 24 turnovers and 31 percent shooting.
Out of the break, Missouri State tied the game three times and took a 32-30 lead with 16:47 to play, but it turned out to be MSU’s last until Buer’s free throws in the waning seconds.
MSU again found itself in a long scoring drought as the Braves went on a 9-0 run before Whitney Edie stopped it with a free throw at the 10:59 mark of a 39-33 score.
The Bradley lead stayed at six or better until Jasmine Malone swished a three-pointer from the right wing to pull MSU to 45-42 with 7:27 to play, and Casey Garrison added two free throws on the next possession for a 7-0 run. Buer followed with a short jumper with 6:37 to play made it a new game at 46-46.
The Braves regained the lead three times after MSU ties, including a three-pointer with 3:45 left for a 53-50 score, before Lacey Boshe hit a driving layup with 1:41 left for another tie, this time at 54-54. Buer hit her first pair of free throws with 1:01 on the clock, the Lady Bears forced a Bradley turnover, and Buer added two more charity tosses with 13.4 seconds remaining before BU missed its final shot attempt and the buzzer sounded.
Buer led the Lady Bears with 17 points, and Garrison added 15 with a 9-for-10 showing at the foul line. She added five assists, and Christiana Shorter’s nine rebounds helped MSU top the Braves 41-35 in that category.
Missouri State plays the winner of No. 4 Creighton and No. 5 UNI in the semifinals at 1:35 p.m.Saturday.
Story courtesy of Missouri State Athletics.