Miller beats buzzer and Drake women win Missouri Valley Tournament in dramatic fashion

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Anna Miller scored 25 points, including the winning two-pointer as time expired, and top-seeded Drake defeated No. 3 seed Missouri State 76-75 on Sunday for the Missouri Valley Conference championship and another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs made it back-to-back conference championships and will be making their 15th appearance in the NCAAs.

Lacy Stokes made a left-handed runner in the lane to give the Bears their only lead of the game, 75-74, with 2.6 seconds left. Drake, which had blown a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, then called timeout, advancing the ball to the frontcourt. The Bulldogs inbounded to Courtney Becker who dumped it in to Miller, whose baby hook shot bounced on the rim a couple of times and fell in for the victory.

Miller scored the first nine points of the third quarter and a layup by Katie Dinnebier made it an 11-0 run for the Bulldogs who led 49-35 near the 7-minute mark. Kennedy Taylor scored Missouri State’s last seven points of the quarter and the Bears got within 59-50 heading to the fourth.

The Bulldogs (29-5) went ahead by 14 again with a little more than 7 minutes remaining. But it was nearly five minutes before they would score again as a series of turnovers and a couple of missed 3-pointers helped Missouri State rally.

Missouri State (23-9) tied it at 70, then Miller scored the next four points in the paint for Drake. Paige Rocca hit a 3-pointer — her only points of the game — to get the Bears within 74-73. Drake had a basket overturned on a shot-clock violation, then Stokes put the Bears ahead prior to Miller’s even more dramatic basket.

Miller made 11 of 12 shots and both of her free throw attempts. She also led Drake with seven rebounds. Dinnebier finished with 17 points and Grace Berg scored 16. The Bulldogs shot 54% and were 17-for-17 on free throws.

Taylor led Missouri State with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Green had 17 and nine, and Stokes finished with 16 points and seven assists. Jade Masogayo had 10 points. The Bears shot 45% and made 10 of 13 free throws.

Drake rolled to a 24-15 lead after one quarter, then Green scored seven points in a 9-2 run to get Missouri State within 26-24 midway through the second. Missouri State got within one point on two occasions, but Drake clung to the lead, despite going six minutes without a field goal and committing five turnovers in that span. The Bulldogs, now 26-1 when leading at halftime this season, were ahead 38-35 at the break.

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