Lady Bears drop 12-point decision at Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Missouri State wrapped up its four-game road trip Monday evening with a 63-51 loss to Little Rock inside the Jack Stephens Center.

The Lady Bears scored first, but led for just 17 seconds in the contest as the Trojans countered with a 7-0 run as part of a 6-for-7 shooting start to lead 15-6 less than six minutes into the contest.

Lee Ann Polowy‘s 3-pointer with 8:56 left until halftime cut Little Rock’s lead to 19-13, but Missouri State hit only one free throw over the next six-plus minutes, allowing the Trojans to open up a 20-point advantage at 34-14.

Missouri State (1-6) started 4-for-7 from the floor in the second half, closing to 41-29 on an Aubrey Buckley layup, and twice had Little Rock’s lead down to 10 points before entering the final period trailing 47-35.

Liza Fruendt opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to make it a single-digit game at 47-38 with 9:32 to play, but the Trojans again had an answer, this time an 8-0 run over the next three minutes. Buckley went on a personal 6-0 run to cut the lead to 57-47 with 3:24 left, and the Lady Bears held Little Rock without a field goal for the final 5:39, but the home team went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the last 2:32 and MSU would not get within 10 points again.

Buckley finished with 11 points and six rebounds, and Brice Calip added eight points, three assists and a career-high six boards. Arkansas native Shameka Ealy scored eight points and hit a pair of treys.

Missouri State shot 52 percent in the second half, but 37.5 percent in the game compared to 25-for-55 (.455) for the Trojans. Little Rock owned a 33-29 rebounding lead and committed just 10 turnovers.

The Lady Bears return to JQH Arena on Dec. 7 for a 7 p.m. game against Wichita State.