Missouri hits late FT, beats Drake 77-76 in OT
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Roundtree hit a free throw after being fouled with 1.1 seconds left in overtime and seventh-seeded Missouri beat Drake 77-76 on Friday to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 for the third time in four years.
Sophie Cunningham scored 21 points and Cierra Porter had 18 for the Tigers (24-10), who can advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001 with a win over second-seeded and host Iowa on Sunday.
The Tigers found Amber Smith open underneath for a 76-74 lead on a jumper with 20.8 seconds left. Maddy Dean pulled Drake even at the line, but Bulldogs star Becca Hittner hit Roundtree’s shooting hand while she was attempting a desperation 3. She missed the first free throw, hit the second and missed the third.
Drake got the rebound and after two timeouts, miraculously got Hittner — a 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc — a wide-open look at a 3. But it bounced off the back of the iron.
Hittner had 19 and Sara Rhine chipped in with 18 points for Drake (27-7), which bowed out of the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row.
THE BIG PICTURE
MISSOURI: Cunningham and fellow senior starters Cierra Porter and Lauren Aldridge will get one more chance to advance in the NCAA Tournament against an Iowa team that played one of its worst games of the season on Friday. Missouri shouldn’t expect the Hawkeyes to repeat such a dreadful performance though.
DRAKE: The Bulldogs were given an at-large bid after getting upset by Missouri State in the Valley final. They can argue about being under-seeded despite being ranked 21st before that defeat, but at some point Drake has to come through and win an NCAA Tournament game. The Bulldogs were within an inch of doing so at the overtime buzzer though.
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