Springfield, MO (Missouri State Athletics) -- Missouri State scored a season-high 91 points, placed five scorers in double figures and shot 50 percent from the floor Sunday afternoon on the way to a 91-76 victory over visiting Illinois State at JQH Arena.
The Lady Bears (11-10, 3-6 Missouri Valley Conference) never trailed after an early 9-0 run and the defense clamped down in the second half, holding Illinois State (13-8, 5-4) to 7-for-33 shooting over the final 16:26 after the Redbirds closed the score to 55-54.
Missouri State answered ISU’s threat at that point with a 7-0 run in the span of 43 seconds, using back-to-back layups fromChristiana Shorterand a 3-point play from Kenzie Williamsto lead 62-54.
Desiree Phillipsconverted another 3-point play a minute later for a 65-56 lead, the Redbirds cut it to five points, but the Lady Bears responded with a 9-0 run that included three key offensive rebounds and ended with a Williams 3-pointer from the wing for a 74-60 lead and 8:38 on the clock.
The Lady Bears pushed the lead to 16 points at 81-65 with 4:43 to go and Illinois State had it back to a 10-point game just 40 seconds later beforeWhitney Edieanswered with two buckets andTyonna Snowadded a free throw for an 87-72 margin with 2:45 left to thwart any further Redbird rallies.
Illinois State started the game with two quick 3-pointers before the MSU defense held the Redbirds without a point for nearly four minutes while the offense went on a 9-0 run that eventually turned into a 13-2 spurt on Bry Snow’s layup at the 13:55 mark for a 17-8 score.
MSU’s lead was as many as 10 in the first half after Phillips hit a trey for 28-18 with 10:22 to play, and ISU’s Candace Sykes tied the score at 43-all with a 3-pointer with 1:57 left beforeKarly Buerknocked down two free throws and Edie scored with two seconds left for a 47-43 halftime advantage.
Edie led Missouri State with 20 points and 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season, and Buer (15), Williams (14),Tyonna Snow(14) and Shorter (12) gave MSU five double-figure scorers for the third time this year.
Williams also grabbed eight rebounds andTyonna Snowhad seven to help the Lady Bears hold a 47-39 edge over the MVC leaders in rebounding margin.
Missouri State matched a season high with 22 made free throws, including a 16-for-16 start, and out-scored the Redbirds 56-26 in the paint. MSU shot 33-of-66 overall compared to 30-of-77 (39 percent) for ISU. Illinois State’s Jamie Russell led all scorers with 23 points.
The Lady Bears continue their four-game homestand Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Bradley (9-11, 3-6).
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