SPRINGFIELD – The 25th-ranked Missouri State Lady Bears led 11-0 after three minutes and used a decisive 17-2 run in the third and fourth quarters Saturday for a 78-63 victory against Drake at JQH Arena, sweeping the regular season series with the Bulldogs for the second year in a row and moving to 4-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play for the third consecutive season.
A night after yielding nearly 60 percent shooting to the Bulldogs (7-8, 5-3 MVC), the Lady Bears (8-2, 4-0) held Drake to 41 percent from field while shooting a season-best 30-for-59 (.508) on the offensive end with all five starters scoring in double figures.
Four of those starters scored during an opening 11-0 run and MSU shot 60 percent in the first quarter to take a 22-12 lead. After Drake cut the margin to 28-23 midway through the second period, the Lady Bears closed on a 13-3 run for a 41-26 advantage at intermission, and Jasmine Franklin scored two of her 20 points on the opening possession of the second half for a 17-point lead.
The Bulldogs shot 8-for-13 in the third quarter and chopped the gap to 52-49 at the 1:40 mark, but MSU senior Brice Calip responded with five points in the next 46 seconds to spark a 17-2 run that resulted in a 69-51 lead with 6:59 left and put the game away.
Franklin scored a season-high 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, adding a season-high four steals and 10 rebounds for her 17th career double-double. Elle Ruffridge hit three treys and tallied 15 points, Abby Hipp and Sydney Wilson scored 11 apiece, and Calip netted 10 while matching season highs with six assists and four steals.
Missouri State dominated 37-23 on the glass and yielded just three offensive rebounds, grabbed 12 steals and forced 19 Drake turnovers to improve to 18-1 at home over the past two seasons.