Lady Bears close out non-con with 72 point win

SPRINGFIELD – The No. 19/21 Missouri State Lady Bears finished out a successful 2019 Tuesday afternoon with a 111-39 victory over William Jewell at JQH Arena, setting a school record for margin of victory to improve to 10-2 as they head into Missouri Valley Conference play.

Six Lady Bears scored in double figures for the first time since January 1996, with Shameka Ealy tying a career high with 16 points. Alexa Willard followed with 14, Elle Ruffridge scored 11, and Sydney Wilson, Sydney Manning and Trinity Knapp all tallied season highs of 10, including the first two 3-pointers of Knapp’s career.

Missouri State also set a school record with 15 blocked shots, breaking the previous mark of 12 set in 1991, and nine different players recorded a stuff. MSU’s 111 points were the second-most in school history, and the 56-25 rebounding margin represented the sixth-widest gap on record.

The Lady Bears scored three seconds after the tip and led 7-0 after two minutes, carrying that margin to a 22-15 lead after a quarter before taking off.

MSU held the Cardinals (5-4) to one field goal in the second quarter on the way to a 47-21 halftime lead, then erupted for 64 second-half points – just two off the school record – to reach the final 72-point margin.

The Lady Bears shot 41-for-66 (.621) to tie for the fifth-most field goals in school history, went 9-for-16 from 3-point range and 20-of-27 at the foul line. MSU dished out 25 assists and nabbed 11 steals, holding WJC to 21.9 percent shooting in the game.

Manning added career highs with eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks, Ruffridge had five assists without a turnover, and Mya Bhinhar had four assists and four steals. Bri Ellis posted career-highs of seven points, four rebounds and two assists, and Abby Hipp hauled in a season-high seven rebounds. Jasmine Franklin went 2-of-3 from the floor to finish the month of December with 27 field goals in 30 attempts.

All 13 MSU players made at least one field goal and grabbed at least one rebound as the Lady Bears moved to 6-0 at home this year. Missouri State got 76 points from its bench and scored 56 in the paint.

After posting a 31-5 record in 2019, MSU begins 2020 and MVC play Friday with a 3 p.m. contest at Loyola (9-2).

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