Feb. 7, 2014
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State Lady Bears set a JQH Arena record by allowing 16 first-half points Friday evening and missed the single-game record by two points in a 66-41 win over Missouri Valley Conference newcomer Loyola University Chicago.
The Lady Bears moved into fourth place in the league standings at 6-4 with their fourth consecutive win and bumped their overall record above the .500 mark for the first time this season at 11-10. Loyola fell to 9-13 and 5-5 in MVC play.
MSU’s defense allowed its fewest points since giving up 41 to Wichita State on Jan. 21, 2011, while Loyola’s .215 shooting percentage was the lowest for a Lady Bear opponent since SIU Edwardsville converted on just 21.0 percent of its shots on Dec. 9, 2010, while scoring 39 points for the JQH-low.
In addition to their defensive exploits, the Lady Bears set season highs for 3-pointers (11) and 3-point percentage (.524), while all 12 players scored in the game and seven hit from long range.
The game was essentially decided during a four-minute stretch in the first half that saw the Lady Bears use a 15-0 run to build a 29-9 lead. Missouri State hit a trio of 3-pointers and five players scored while the Ramblers suffered through an 0-for-11 shooting drought that ended with 4:50 left in the half and the score at 29-11 in favor of MSU.
Bry Snow’s 3-pointer rattled home with five seconds remaining in the first half for a 36-16 lead at the break, and MSU maintained its lead between 18 and 25 points until Mikala McGhee and Desiree Phillips knocked down treys 38 seconds apart for a 63-34 advantage and 4:43 on the clock.
Missouri State finished the game shooting 19-for-47 (.404) overall and held the Ramblers to 14-for-65. Seven Lady Bears scored at least six points, led by Kenzie Williams with nine. Loyola’s Troy Hambric, the MVC’s leading scorer in league games at 22.1 points per contest, managed only five points in 30 minutes.
Missouri State hosts Bradley (5-16, 2-8) at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Braves lost 67-54 at Wichita State Friday.