SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State Lady Bears played their final exhibition tune-up of the season Thursday evening at JQH Arena, topping Southwest Baptist by a 68-57 final before a crowd of 2,352.
Missouri State held SBU scoreless for nearly five minutes early on in using a 9-0 run to build a 9-2 lead before an SBU 3-pointer made it 9-5 at the 14:51 mark.
The Lady Bears kept the advantage between four and eight points until Whitney Edie’s putback pushed the score to 30-21 with 2:49 remaining in the half. Kenzie Williams and Hannah Wilkerson hit from close range for a double-digit lead at 34-23, and Edie put in a layup in the final seconds to give her 12 points in the first half and MSU a 36-26 lead.
Missouri State scored the first five points of the second half to build its lead to 15, and Edie hit a trey and a layup on consecutive possessions four minutes later that accounted for 18-point leads each time, the second making the score 50-32 with 14:30 left in the game.
The Bearcats chipped away and cut the lead to single digits at 58-50 with two free throws at the 6:51 mark, and hit an elbow jumper for a 62-55 deficit with 4:40 to play.
The Lady Bears responded with a 6-0 run and held SBU scoreless for the next 4:10 before a Bearcat basket with 30 seconds left accounted for the final margin.
Edie finished with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, adding seven rebounds four steals and three charges drawn. Wilkerson and Karly Buer dished out four assists apiece while scoring 11 and 13 points, respectively.
Missouri State shot 38.7-percent compared to 36.7-percent for SBU and made 18 of 25 free throws. The Lady Bears held a 41-37 rebounding margin and committed just 12 turnovers.
The Lady Bears begin the regular season Nov. 13 at 7:05 p.m. when they host 23rd-ranked Oklahoma State. Missouri State will unveil its 2011-12 Missouri Valley Conference championship banner and the Lady Bears will receive their championship rings in a pregame ceremony.