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Evansville Falls at Missouri State, 87-70

February 1, 2014


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The University of Evansville women's basketball team went on an early second-half rally, but could not overcome an 18-point halftime deficit in an 87-70 loss to Missouri State Friday night at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.
Freshman Sara Dickey led all scorers with 22 points, going 9-for-18 from the field and was one of three Evansville (7-12, 2-6 MVC) players to finish in double figures.  Junior Kat Taylor added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while freshman Paris McLeod, who made her first-career start, pitched in 11 points and eight boards.
Missouri State (9-10, 4-4 MVC) set the tone early by jumping out to an early 9-2 lead, after getting a trio of long-range shots from Bry Snow and Kenzie Williams.
Despite hitting just two of its first 14 shots, UE was able to cut the Lady Bears' advantage to 9-7 at the 15:00 mark, following a five-point spurt from Dickey.  However, MSU's defense began to take over from that point on, as Missouri State scored 20 points off of 11 first-half turnovers by Evansville.
Tyonna Snow gave the Lady Bears an eight-point advantage, 18-10, with 12:56 left in the half by converting an and-one opportunity, after getting fouled on a driving layup.  Just over two minutes later, Hannah Wilkerson drained a fadeaway three from deep in the left corner to put MSU 25-15, before T. Snow came up with a steal and a breakaway layup on the ensuing possession to up the Lady Bears' lead to 27-15 with 10:22 remaining in the opening stanza.
With 3:05 left in the half, NiJay Gaines gave Missouri State its largest lead of the first half by banking in an inside jumper making the score, 46-21, in favor of the Lady Bears.
The Aces closed the half on a 7-0 run by holding MSU without a field goal for the final three minutes of the period, but UE trailed, 46-28, at the intermission.
Missouri State hit 15 of its 35 first-half shots (42.9 percent) and drained six of its 13 three-point attempts, while holding UE to a 34.4 percent clip (11-for-32) in the opening 20 minutes.
Evansville maintained its momentum out of the locker room, scoring the first six points of the second half to cut Missouri State's lead to 46-34, following a steal and transition layup by McLeod that capped a 13-0 run at the 17:20 mark.
Later in the half, the Lady Bears responded with their own 13-0 rally that was jumpstarted by a three from Lexi Hughes at the 15:56 mark and capped by a corner trey by Williams four minutes later, putting Missouri State up, 65-38.
The Lady Bears took its largest lead of the game, 68-40, on yet another three by Williams with 11:15 left to play.  UE trimmed the lead to 16 on an inside jumper by freshman Caitlyn Russell just 6:18 from the final horn, but would get no closer.
Williams led MSU with 21 points on a 6-for-10 shooting performance and connected on four of her six attempts from three-point land.  T. Snow finished with 17 points for the Lady Bears and Katie Palmer added 13 off the bench.
Evansville shot 42.2 percent from the field for the game (27-for-64) and went 5-for-19 from beyond the arc (26.3 percent), while MSU went 31-for-69 (44.9 percent) from the floor and 10-for-25 (40.0 percent) from long distance.
The Aces will conclude their three-game road trip Sunday, when they travel to Missouri Valley Conference-leading Wichita State.  Tip between the Shockers and UE is set for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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