Lacy Stokes' 17 points help push MSU past Murray State in Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinals

Mar. 16—No. 6 Murray State led No. 3 Missouri State 70-69 with five seconds left in the game on Friday night in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Moline, Illinois.

Lacy Stokes drew a foul on the next possession and cashed in on both free shots to make it a 71-70 advantage for the Bears with 1.7 seconds left.

MSU (22-8) held on for the win and advances to the semifinals for a date with No. 2 Belmont (25-7) — which defeated the University of Illinois-Chicago 70-65 on Friday — at 4 pm. Saturday.

Stokes overcame some early struggles at the line. The junior transfer was 1 for 4 on free shots to start the game. She went on to go 6 for 6 from the charity strip the rest of the way.

She finished with 17 points, four assists and four steals in the contest.

Indya Green led the Bears with a double-double tallying 22 points and collecting 17 rebounds.

It was back and forth the entire game between Missouri State and Murray State. The Racers held the largest advantage of the first half with an 8-point lead at 31-23 in the second quarter.

MSU trailed 33-29 at halftime.

The Bears had their largest lead of the night at 50-43 right before the third period came to a close as Kaemyn Bekemeier made a free throw. Their lead was extended to 10 points as three free throws in the first 17 seconds of the final stanza went through to make it 53-43.

A 3-pointer from the Racers' Trinity White tied the game at 57 apiece with 4:52 left to play.

Missouri State scored the next 4 to go ahead 61-57. Murray State would actually take the lead at 64-63 with 2:20 to go.

The Bears were looking at a 69-67 deficit with 23 seconds left.

Kennedy Taylor was able to tie the score on a jump shot with 12 seconds showing on the clock.

Bekemeier then got called for a foul with five seconds left. The Racers' Bria Sanders-Woods only made one of two charities, leaving the door wide open for Missouri State.

Stokes made her pay.

Ava Learn led Murray State with a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Haven Ford added 13 points and Katelyn Young 12.

Missouri State split its two regular season contests with Belmont. It won 73-54 at home on Feb. 9 and lost 66-56 in Nashville on Jan. 26.