Griffons lose heartbreaker to Central Missouri in MIAA Quarterfinals

MWSUIn the waning seconds, Central Missouri’s defense prevailed.

The Missouri Western women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to the Jennies in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Tournament, losing 54-53. Missouri Western had a shot to win the game at the end, but a missed 3-pointer by Sharniece Lewis at the buzzer ended the night.

Missouri Western gave everything it had to even come close to the win. Behind by 10 with 4 minutes to play, the Griffons caused several turnovers and went on a 10-1 run to pull within one.  The Griffons three of their final four free throws, however, they still had a chance to win after Heather Howard recorded an offensive rebound on the final miss free throw.
Howard finished with a team-high 13 points and 18 rebounds.

The Jennies used an 11-0 stretch in the middle of the second half to pull ahead. Central Missouri and Missouri Western saw nine lead changes and five ties in the first half. Sharniece Lewis was on fire, knocking down three 3-pointers to give the Griffons a slight edge in the first half.

Missouri Western led Central Missouri 30-27 at the break. The teams swapped five points in the first 4 minutes, but it was all Central Missouri for the next 10 minutes.

The Jennies 11-0 run gave them a 43-35 lead, and they eventually settled to a 53-43 lead. But the Griffons’ hard defense and smart offense pulled the game closer.

Brittany Griswold started the run off with a layup to pull within eight. After Jennies’ BreAnna Lewis converted 1-of-2 free throws, the Griffons matched that to mark the score 54-46. Lanicia Lawrence added a layup a minute later to make it 54-49.

After a steal by Lawrence, JaQuitta Dever put in a lay-in to draw within three points with 2:28 left. The run stalled in the next two minutes, and Howard made a free throw, but her second was negated after a lane violation.

Alicia Bell was later fouled, but made just one of her attempts to pull the game to 54-53. After Dever missed two free throws, Howard pulled in her 18th board to give the Griffons one final opportunity.

Dever finished with 10 points and three steals. Lawrence added five steals to help the Griffons, who end the season 16-12.

— MWSU Sports Information —