(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Missouri Western built on a seven-win campaign from 2011-2012 to kick the door in at the start of this season.
Rob Edmisson coached the Griffons to 15 regular season wins and then a stunner at Pittsburg State in the first round of the MIAA Tournament.
But the year could go no further due to a heartbreaking finish on Thursday.
Sharniece Lewis' final three-point attempt fell just short as No. 13 Central Missouri defeated Western 54-53 in the MIAA quarterfinals at the Municipal Auditorium.
The Griffons (16-12) and Jennies (23-4) traded shots early in the first half. Western grabbed a five-point lead, their biggest of the game, down the stretch before nursing a three-point margin at the break.
Central Missouri stormed out of the locker room with an 11-0 run to grab a lead they would not surrender. The gap grew by ten with just under five minutes to go, but the Griffons cut it back to one possession at the 1:40 mark.
Down by a point, JaQuitta Dever poked the ball away from Brielle Wattley, who was forced to foul. After a pair of missed free throws, Heather Howard grabbed the board to give Western one last opportunity. Lewis hoisted a prayer in front of the Griffon bench, but could not deliver.
Howard finished with 13 points while Dever poured in 10.