KANSAS CITY, MO (ESU ATHLETICS) – The #20 Emporia State Lady Hornets put four players in double figures on the way to an 85-74 win over #7 Missouri Western on Saturday in the MIAA Tournament semifinals. With the win Emporia State advances to their sixth straight MIAA Championship game and 13th championship game overall.
ROUGH AND TUMBLE
Although the Lady Hornets never trailed the game was a very tight contest with a total of 51 fouls called including three technical fouls. Emporia State jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game. A basket by Sefulu Faavae with seven seconds left cut the Lady Hornet lead to 23-16 heading into the second quarter.
The Griffons would score the first five points of the second period to cut the lead to two with 9:20 left. After the Lady Hornets pushed the lead back to five, Western went on a 5-0 run to tie the score at 26 with 5:04 left in the half. Emporia State answered with an 11-0 run to go up 37-26 with 2:05 remaining. During the run there was a double technical called on Emporia State’s Megan Holloway and Western’s Faavae as Holloway was going to the line iwht 3:53 remaining. The final four points of the run were scored from the free throw line as Dwanisha Tate was called for a technical after fouling Addie Lackey on a drive. Kelly Moten hit the two technical free throws and Lackey converted both of hers to give Emporia State their biggest lead of the half. The Griffons scored the final four points of the half, the last coming on a jumper by Melia Richardson at the buzzer, to make it a 39-32 lead at the break.
The Lady Hornets held serve through most of the third quarter, taking their biggest lead of the game at 52-40 on a Moten layup following a steal by Kyrstie Miller. The Griffons would cut the lead down to four on a pair of free throws from LaQuinta Jefferson with 48 seconds left only to see Flott score with 29 seconds left and Moten getting a fast break layup after another Miller steal to go up 60-52, but Sarafina Handy nailed a three-pointer at the end of the quarter to cut the lead to five.
COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS
The Griffons had again closed to within two points with 7:08 left on another Handy three-pointer before Sandra Ngoie went on a personal 7-0 run. She scored five of the points on one possession. She hit a shot inside and was fouled by Mhykeah Baez who slammed the ball down and was assessed the third technical of the game for Western. Ngoie hit the two technical free throws and then finished the old fashioned three-point play to give the Lady Hornets a 72-63 lead with 5:47 left in the game. The Lady Hornets would hit nine of ten free throws in the final 1:55 to seal the win and another trip to Sunday at the MIAA Tournament.
THE GAME IN NUMBERS
Kelly Moten led all scorers with 23 points on seven of 11 shooting with five rebounds and four assists. Sandra Ngoie and Kathryn Flott each scored 16 points with flott grabbing ten rebounds. Addie Lackey was the other Lady Hornet in double figures with 14 points. As a team Emporia State shot .546 from the field and converted 34 of 41 free throws while outrebounding Western 32-22 on the glass. The Griffons shot .467 from the field while making 13 of 16 from the free throw line.
Moten’s 23 points give her 1,257 in her career as she moved past Aneta Kausaite (1,246 pts from 1996-98) for 18th on the Lady Hornet all-time scoring list.
This was the Lady Hornets 11th straight win in the MIAA Tournament. The MIAA record is 13 straight by Emporia State from 1998 through the 2002 semifinals.
Emporia State is now 39-13 (.750) and have the highest winning percentage in MIAA Tournament history.
Jory Collins is now 15-2 (.882) all-time in the MIAA Tournament and is now tied with former Lady Hornet coach Brandon Schneider and former UCM coach Jon Pye for fourth in championship game appearances with six, all in his first six years.
The #20 Lady Hornets will take on #16 Pittsburg State in the MIAA Championship game on Sunday afternoon. Tip- from Kansas City’s tradition-rich Municipal Auditorium is set for 1:00 p.m. and will be televised on the MIAA Network.