Springfield, Mo. — The Missouri State Lady Bears used another record-setting defensive effort and a late offensive spurt to run away with a 68-39 victory over SIU Edwardsville Thursday evening at JQH Arena. MSU held the Cougars to just .210 shooting and closed the game on a 34-11 run to wrap up its longest home stand of the season on a three-game win streak.
The 13-of-62 shooting performance by the Cougars (2-7) marks the third straight game in which the Lady Bears (6-2) have held the opposition to an all-time JQH Arena-low field goal percentage. The visitor’s 39 points is also an arena low and the fewest allowed by a Missouri State team since a 72-33 win over Saint Louis on Jan. 1, 2004.
Conversely, the Lady Bears’ .467 (28-of-60) effort from the floor represents a season high team field goal percentage. Additionally, the 29-point margin of victory is MSU’s biggest at home since the 2005-06 season and matches a Lady Bear high under NylaMilleson.
Jasmine Malone keyed Missouri State’s second-half attack with 12 of her game-high 16 points. The Lady Bears also got 15 points from Casey Garrison, as well as a 10-rebound, six-block effort from Tia Mays.
Despite 13 turnovers from its offense, Missouri State limited the Cougars to just 18.2 percent shooting and outrebounded SIUE by a 31-17 margin over the game’s first 20 minutes to take a 27-17 lead into intermission. MSU used its defense to grab the lead early, holding the Cougars scoreless for the first five minutes of the contest.
While SIUE was misfiring on its first 13 field goal attempts, Garrison converted her first three tries from the floor to stake the Lady Bears to a 6-0 advantage. After Melia Duncan connected on a short jumper in the lane for SIUE’s first points of the night with 14:55 to play in the half, MSU would score 11 of the next 13 points over a five-minute stretch to build its largest lead of the half at 17-4.
But Duncan would drain a three-pointer to kick-start the Cougar offense and open up an 11-2 run that would draw the visitors back to within four points with just over four minutes remaining on the clock.
Garrison would come up big again, converting an old-fashioned three-pointer after tracking down her own miss and drawing a foul at the 3:00 mark to push the MSU lead back to nine points. A Mays layup with 1:10 left would account for the final points of the half, sending the Lady Bears into the break with a 10-point cushion.
A Garrison lay-in and a Malone three-point play in the opening minutes of the second stanza pushed the MSU lead to 12, but the Cougars would respond with a 5-0 spurt moments later to cut their deficit to just 34-28 with 15 minutes to play.
The Lady Bear offense would come alive at that point, getting a Malone basket with 14:48 left on the clock, followed by AlyStock’s first points of the season on an 18-foot jumper on the ensuing possession to reclaim a double-digit advantage.
The two clubs traded blows until a Christiana Shorter bucket started an 18-3 run that effectively sealed the Cougars fate. JaleshiaRoberson drilled the Lady Bears’ first three-pointer of the game with 11:36 to go, and after Madison Meade responded for SIUE with a long-distance connection of her own, Missouri State would reel off 13 unanswered points. In all, five different Lady Bears put a notch in the scoring column during the decisive run, and MSU would hold SIUE scoreless for nearly six minutes.
Raven Berry led SIUE with a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards in just 20 minutes of play.
Next, the Lady Bears embark on a four-game road swing to wrap up non-conference play, beginning with a Sunday (Dec. 12) afternoon match-up against Saint Louis at Chaifetz Arena. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.