Feb. 23, 2014
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois State out-scored Missouri State by 14 points in the second half Sunday afternoon to earn a 66-57 victory over the Lady Bears in MSU’s regular-season home finale.
The Redbirds (8-16, 7-7 Missouri Valley Conference) set JQH Arena opponent records for free throws made (28) and attempted (39), and their 25 makes in the second half alone would have eclipsed the old record of 24. Missouri State fell to 12-14 overall and 7-8 in league play.
Missouri State overcame a fast start by the Redbirds to take a 27-22 lead into halftime. ISU made its first four field goals and led 9-0 three minutes into the game before closing the period 5-for-22 from the floor.
The Lady Bears trailed 14-6 when Hannah Wilkerson buried a long 3-pointer at the 9:52 mark, and Tyonna Snow scored seven consecutive points before Wilkerson capped a 12-0 MSU run with a jumper for an 18-14 lead with 6:13 remaining.
The Redbirds tied the score at 18-all, and MSU closed strong as Snow scored the final five points of the half.
Illinois State regained the lead five minutes into the second half during a 9-0 run that put the visitors ahead 36-30 with 12:54 left in the game. Conventional 3-point plays from Mikala McGhee and Wilkerson pulled MSU to 43-39 with 8:55 to go, and Snow scored again with 7:35 on the clock for a 45-41 deficit.
ISU countered with an 11-2 run that included nine free throws over the next three minutes to go ahead 56-43, and a McGhee layup with 1:44 remaining finished off a 6-0 MSU run with a 58-52 deficit. Wilkerson scored with 55 seconds left to make it 60-54, but the Redbirds hit their next six foul shots to close the game.
Snow led all scorers with a season-high 26 points while Wilkerson and McGhee added 10 apiece. MSU shot 31.1 percent of the game and held ISU to .383 from the field. The Redbirds won the rebounding battle by a 43-34 margin.
The Lady Bears travel to Southern Illinois (4-21, 2-12) on Thursday for a 6 p.m. game.