March 3, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State jumped out to a 20-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game Sunday, building enough cushion to withstand a second-half charge by Missouri State in a 81-60 victory over the Lady Bears inside Redbird Arena.
The Lady Bears fell to 14-15 overall and 6-11 in Missouri Valley Conference games, but still hold a chance of gaining the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament. The Redbirds improved to 20-8 and 12-4 in the league, keeping their hopes alive for a share of the regular-season MVC title.
Missouri State could not have drawn up a worse start as the Redbirds converted six MSU turnovers into their first 10 points just five minutes into the game and eventually built a 24-2 lead a tick under 10 minutes into the contest.
Illinois State led 47-15 at halftime, shooting 54.5 percent compared to 22.2 for the Lady Bears, and turned 15 MSU turnovers into 19 points in the first period.
The Redbirds opened the second stanza with a 10-0 run to lead 57-15 and Missouri State responded with a 12-0 spurt that included seven points from Karly Buer for a 57-27 tally with 14:09 to play.
Missouri State added a 9-0 run to pull to 67-46 with 7:05 remaining, and Bry Snow connected for back-to-back layups for a 69-52 deficit with 4:51 left. The Lady Bears twice cut the lead to 16 but got no closer despite out-scoring the Redbirds 45-24 in the final 16:05 of the game.
Buer led MSU with 16 points and Bry Snow added 14 for her highest total in MVC play. In addition to scoring 13 points, Christiana Shorter grabbed eight rebounds to become the fourth player at Missouri State and 15th in MVC history with 900 career boards, and attempted nine free throws to pass Casey Garrison for second in school history in that category.
MSU shot 44.4 percent in the second half to improve to 34.9 for the game (22-63), and Illinois State finished 30-for-69 from the floor.
The Lady Bears held a 45-44 edge on the glass in a battle of the league’s top two rebounding teams.
Missouri State closes the regular season Saturday at 2:05 p.m. when it hosts league-leading Wichita State (20-9, 14-3) at JQH Arena. Seniors Whitney Edie, Christiana Shorter and Aly Stock will be honored at the game.