The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball team fell to the Missouri State Lady Bears in the MVC Tournament championship game on Sunday (Mar. 13, 2016), 71-58.

UNI was led in scoring by Madison Weekly and Sharnae Lamar, who finished with 17 and a career-high 16 points, respectively. Amber Sorenson added seven points that included a three-pointer that broke the school record for threes made in a season (90).

Missouri State opened the game with a 6-0 run to take an 8-2 lead, keeping UNI scoreless for over three minutes before a pull-up jumper from Sorenson ended their drought. The Panthers clawed back by going on a 7-0 run of their own that included a key three-pointer from Lamar to take a 9-8 lead with less than three minutes to go in the first quarter. Lamar scored nine of UNI’s 11 first quarter points, with UNI trailing the Lady Bears 15-11 heading into the second.

The Lady Bears hot hand continued into the second quarter, opening the period on a 6-0 run after going a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor to take a 27-18 lead with 5:47 on the clock. Despite Missouri State only missing two shots the entire second quarter, UNI was able to force three straight turnovers on the Lady Bears and counter with a 6-0 run to cut the MSU lead to 35-28 heading into halftime.

UNI and the Lady Bears traded baskets to start the third quarter, with UNI cutting the MSU lead to just three-points, but Missouri State’s Liza Fruendt was able to knock down a three-pointer at the 5:09 mark to give them a 42-35 lead. Sorenson cut the MSU advantage back down to four points with a huge three-pointer with 3:05 left in the quarter, but Missouri State ended the period on a 7-0 run to take a 51-40 lead.

The Panthers kept fighting in the fourth quarter, with Weekly scoring six unanswered points. UNI was then able to keep the Lady Bears on a scoring drought, cutting the MSU lead to 63-53 with less than three minutes to play. Missouri State finished the game shooting 50-percent from the three, giving them the 71-58 win.