Lady Bears On the Mark Early, Lead ORU at the Half
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Despite committing 13 turnovers in the opening half of their non-conference match-up with Oral Roberts, the Missouri State Lady Bears took a 38-32 lead over the Golden Eagles into intermission Tuesday evening at JQH Arena. MSU was red-hot from long range, converting 7-of-14 three-point attmepts in the first half to help overcome its early turnover woes.
Christiana Shorter paced a balanced MSU attack with eight points and four rebounds. In all, 10 of the 11 Lady Bears who saw action in the first half broke into the scoring column to offset an injury to junior Naismith Trophy candidate Casey Garrison, who registered just two points in 11 minutes.
Missouri State wasted little time in building an early lead over the Golden Eagles, reeling off an 11-2 run after the two clubs traded baskets in the game’s opening minute of play. Jasmine Malone stepped into a three-pointer from the right wing at the 18:57 mark, and Tia Mays putback a Shorter miss from the foul line moments later to give the Lady Bears an 8-2 edge.
Following a Shorter basket, Karly Buer connected from long range, stretching the MSU lead to 13-4 with just over 17 minutes to play in the half.
But ORU bounced back with an 11-2 spurt of its own to draw even with the Lady Bears midway through the half. Kevi Luper drove to the basket to kick off the run, and Jordan Pyle and Priscila Cergol converted shots in the paint to pull the Golden Eagles to within three points.
Georgia Jones’ three with 12:02 to play in the period squared the score at 15-15, and the two sides traded blows for much of the next two and-a-half minutes until Malone and Whitney Edie hit back-to-back threes to momentarily hand MSU a 26-22 lead.
Once again, the Golden Eagles came back, getting two points from Savanna Buck and a three-point play from Pyle to even the score at 27-all. After three straight points from Shorter, Luper hit from long distance for the second time on the night to knot the score for the sixth time in the contest.
But MSU had the last laugh in the opening stanza, as Hannah Wilkerson banked home a 25-footer with 1:48 left to spark an 8-2 Lady Bear run to close the scoring. The freshman guard scored once again with 51 seconds left on a breakaway layup before Jaleshia Roberson connected for her first triple of the season with just six seconds to go.
Luper led all scorers in the half with 10 points, and Pyle added nine for the visitors, who shot .382 from the floor.