SPRINGFIELD — Missouri State freshman guard Tyonna Snow scored a career-high 29 points, including a school-record 18 from the free throw line, to lead the Lady Bears (13-13, 5-9 Missouri Valley Conference) to an 81-74 victory over MVC rival Southern Illinois (4-20, 1-12) Thursday evening at JQH Arena.
Snow shot 18-for-26 from the charity stripe to break Jackie Stiles’ record of 17 makes set in the 2000 MVC Tournament, and added six rebounds and seven steals for the No. 8 single game total in school history (she already sits at No. 4 on that list with eight steals in the season opener). Her 29 total points are also the most for an MSU freshman since Casey Garrison scored 33 against Western Kentucky in December 2008.
Kenzie Williams threatened a triple-double with 12 points and career-highs of nine rebounds and seven assists, and Whitney Edie came on strong late in the game to finish with 13 points and 10 boards for her ninth double-double of the season as the Lady Bears overcame a 64-55 deficit with 8:00 remaining.
NiJay Gaines started an 8-0 MSU run at that point to pull the Lady Bears to 64-63 with 5:44 left, and a Karly Buer 3-pointer made it 67-66 before Snow drained two free throws for a 68-all tie and made another for the 69-68 advantage with 3:38 to go. Edie’s 3-point play at 2:54 made it a 6-0 run and 72-68 MSU lead, and Missouri State scored four straight points from 72-70 to go up 76-70 with 49 seconds left.
Snow hit two more free throws with 17.2 seconds left for the school record and a 79-74 lead, and Buer added two with 1.2 seconds remaining for the final margin.
The Salukis began the game 8-for-11 from the floor on the way to an 18-11 lead at the 14:29 mark, and the Lady Bears chased the visitors down over the next 10 minutes until Edie’s jumper gave MSU a 30-29 lead with 4:09 left in the half.
The lead changed hands three more times before halftime, with SIU going into the break ahead 37-35. After the Lady Bears went up 40-37 just 56 seconds into the second period, the game was tied six times with another five lead changes before the Salukis turned a 53-52 deficit into their 64-55 lead.
Missouri State managed to score 81 points despite shooting just 30.7 percent from the field thanks to a 30-for-43 effort at the foul line. SIU shot 38.6 percent overall, but just 32.4 percent in the second half. The Salukis placed five scorers in double figures, led by Dyana Pierre with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
MSU won the rebounding battle 54-48 and recorded 16 steals.
The Lady Bears host Evansville (8-16, 6-7) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The Purple Aces lost 68-49 at Wichita State Thursday.