Lady Bears Suffer First Home Loss to Murray State

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State fell to 15-6 (9-3 MVC) and suffered its first home loss on the season in a 95-89 shootout against Murray State (15-6, 8-4 MVC) at Great Southern Bank Arena here Sunday afternoon. 
 
The final 10 minutes decided the outcome in this one as Missouri State faltered down the stretch after leading by one point heading into the final period. After swapping possessions to open the fourth, a Paige Rocca three broke the tie and gave the home team a three-point lead. However, that’s when Murray State took over, going on a 16-0 run to give the Racers their largest lead of the game at 13 points with just 2:56 remaining in Springfield. 
 
The Lady Bears fought back, knocking down three triples in the final 0:20 to cut the Murray State lead to four. But, down the stretch Missouri State was forced to foul and the Racers made the most of their opportunities, going 14-for-15 at the line in the fourth to hand Missouri State its first loss at home this season. 
 
The game was fast-paced and high-scoring from the opening tip with Missouri State jumping out to a 9-2 lead. Following Murray State’s basket to start the game, the Lady Bears held the lead for nearly the entire quarter, until the Racers’ Katelyn Young connected on a layup with 0:05 remaining to tie the game at 19-19 after one. 
 
Murray State took the lead early in the second quarter, pushing the lead to as many as five points in the first couple of minutes of the period. Missouri State then put together a big surge, scoring 11 consecutive points, sparked by back-to-back treys from Kyrah Daniels and Rocca. From there, the Lady Bears held onto the lead until halftime, with a Kennedy Taylor layup and Daniels jumper in the final minute giving Missouri State a five-point, 45-40, advantage at the break. 
 
The third quarter saw a good battle that tilted in favor of Murray State. The frame saw three lead changes and two ties as the Racers’ last two three-point field goals of the quarter tied the game and then gave the visitors a one-point advantage on the road. However, with three seconds left, Taylor connected on a layup and gave the Lady Bears a one-point lead heading into the decisive fourth quarter. 
 
Taylor led the way for Missouri State with 21 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench. Daniels followed with a career-high 18 points (6-7 FG, 4-5 3FG), while Lacy Stokes (16 points) and Rocca (13 points) also posted double-figure scoring performances on the afternoon.
 
As a team, the Lady Bears outrebounded the Racers, 33-28, and scored 20 points off 15 Murray State turnovers. Murray State put together an efficient offensive performance and the Lady Bears ultimately struggled to get stops when they needed to most, as the Racers shot 56 percent from the field, 52 percent from three and 86 percent from the line on the day. 
 
The Lady Bears will hit the road next week for contests at Indiana State (Thursday, Feb. 15) and Evansville (Saturday, Feb. 17). Both games will stream on ESPN+. 
 
 
 

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