No. 20 Missouri State downs Mizzou 72-58

SPRINGFIELD – The 20th-ranked Missouri State Lady Bears never trailed and led for more than 39 minutes Monday evening on the way to taking down in-state rival Missouri for the second straight season, 72-58 at Mizzou Arena.

Senior Elle Ruffridge scored a season-high 19 points and Brice Calip added 17, as Missouri State (4-1) opened up an 18-point first half lead on the way to its fifth Power 5 victory in the past two seasons and first road win at MU (1-1) since 2003.

Missouri State bolted to an 8-2 lead after three minutes and went ahead 14-4 at the 3:22 mark on back-to-back 3-pointers from Sydney Manning and Elle Ruffridge, carrying the double-digit lead to 20-10 after a balanced first quarter with seven different scorers.

The Lady Bears continued to fill it up from long range when Ruffridge and Sydney Wilson hit consecutive treys for a 26-10 lead with 7:43 left until halftime, and Ruffridge added another jumper for 38-20 with 1:18 left.

MU wrapped a 7-0 run around halftime and added a 9-0 spurt, thanks in part to seven free throws, late in the third quarter to close the gap to 51-46.

The teams traded buckets to begin the fourth period, with Ruffridge hitting three times from the field early, including what proved to be Missouri State’s final field goal of the contest with 6:57 remaining for a 60-52 lead.

From there, the Lady Bears made their final 12 free throws of the contest to put it away, and the score was stuck at 64-56 for more than four minutes late in the game until Calip connected on foul shots with 52 seconds left on the way to making six in the final minute and 12-of-13 in the game.

Missouri State shot 41 percent overall and 23-for-28 at the foul line, adding a 37-31 rebounding edge to win that category for the 30th time in the last 35 games. Jasmine Franklin collected seven rebounds and Manning and Emily Gartner grabbed six apiece.

Wilson (11) and Manning (10) gave the Lady Bears four double-figure scorers. MSU dished out 13 assists against 12 turnovers and got 34 points from its bench. The defense limited the Tigers to 36 percent shooting overall and 4-for-18 from long range.

The Lady Bears host South Dakota State (3-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday to close the non-conference slate. The Jackrabbits own a pair of top-25 wins this season and were ranked in both polls last week before suffering a pair of losses. It will be a Black Out at JQH Arena, with fans encouraged to don their black Bear Wear.

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