EVANSVILLE, Ind.-- Evansville shot better than 65 percent in the first half and kept pace with the Missouri Valley Conference leaders Friday with a 77-53 win over the Missouri State Lady Bears at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.
Missouri State fell to 9-9 overall and 1-5 in the league, while the Purple Aces moved to 7-10 and 5-1 in Valley games. A crowd of 3,246, made up primarily of local elementary school students, enjoyed the 11 a.m. matinee.
Evansville hit five of its first six shots from the field, knocking down a 3-pointer on the game’s opening possession and then going on a 10-0 run that ended with two free throws for a 13-2 lead at the 14:46 mark.
Missouri State had the deficit to seven points with 11:16 left in the half, but Evansville spent the next five minutes extending its lead to 31-15 with a 3-pointer at the 6:50 mark that improved the Aces to 12-of-16 shooting.
Whitney Ediescored Missouri State’s next six points to close within 12 before the Purple Aces fired back with four straight points to get the margin back to 16 at 37-21 with 3:21 to play. Evansville pushed its advantage to as many as 17 andTyonna Snowscored MSU’s final six points for a 44-29 halftime score in favor of the home team. UE shot 65.4 percent overall and made half of its eight 3-point tries in the half.
UE maintained its hot-shooting after the break with a 3-for-5 start to the second period that led to a 53-34 score with 15:44 to play. The Lady Bears were no closer than 17 points for the remainder of the game.
Evansville shot 28-for-49 (57.1 percent) for the game, while the Lady Bears finished at 18-of-58. Khristian Hart scored 28 points to lead three Aces in double figures.Whitney Edieled MSU with 13 points andKenzie Williamsscored 10. MSU grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and held a 35-32 edge in total boards.
Of note for Missouri State, Bry andTyonna Snowbecame the first sisters to start a game for the Lady Bears since Julie and Melody Howard on March 19, 1994.Christiana Shorterwas credited with two blocked shots to make her the third player in MSU history with 100 career stuffs. FreshmanNicole Smallwoodknocked down a pair of 3-pointers, the first of her career, in the game’s final minute.
The Lady Bears head to Southern Illinois (4-12, 1-4) Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. contest that will be televised on KY3 in Springfield.
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