Dec. 6, 2011
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State’s women’s basketball team overcame a slow start Tuesday to defeat visiting East Tennessee State by an 81-70 final and improve to 4-2 with its third consecutive victory at JQH Arena.
A 10-0 run in response to ETSU’s opening three-pointer put the Lady Bears ahead 10-3, with Casey Garrison and Jaleshia Roberson hitting three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to spark the early lead as the Lady Bucs missed seven consecutive field goals.
The Lady Bucs (0-9) regrouped and tied the game at 14, 16 and 18 before sophomore guard Shawn Randall took over, scoring 10 points in 1:45 of game time. Randall was fouled on a made three-pointer, knocked down the free throw and then drained two more treys to give the visitors a 30-22 advantage with 5:14 remaining in the first half.
Then it was Missouri State’s turn to run, with two Whitney Edie free throws at 4:54 starting an 11-0 spurt over the next 2:17. Garrison followed with two jumpers, Aly Stock added a pair of free throws and Desiree Phillips capped it with a three from the right corner at the 2:37 mark for a 33-30 MSU lead.
Stock added a 17-foot jumper, Karly Buer hit two free throws and Garrison scooped in a shot at the buzzer as the Lady Bears closed the half on a 17-4 run to take a 39-34 lead into the break.
ETSU’s Tarita Gordon hit a three to open the second half and Destiny Mitchell banked in a jumper with 15:27 remaining to pull the visitors within one at 46-45. The teams exchanged two-point possessions to 50-49 when Iesha Robertson rattled in a short jumper for a 51-50 ETSU lead with 13:09 left in the game.
A Stock free throw and Garrison jumper tied the game at 53-53 and Lacey Boshe got the lead back at 55-53 with a bucket at the 11:07 mark. The Lady Bucs tied again before Garrison and Stock hit long jumpers for a 59-55 lead at 9:45, with Stock’s serving as her sixth and seventh points to best her previous career high of six.
Garrison hit a three and a long two on MSU’s next two possessions, each time putting the Lady Bears ahead by five, and Jasmine Malone drained a trey with 7:02 left for a 67-59 cushion. The Lady Bucs quickly cut the gap to three points in the next 90 seconds, and trailed by three again at 69-66 with 3:06 remaining before Boshe and Stock hit consecutive shots in the lane to lead 73-66 with 2:03 to play.
ETSU followed with a steal and a bucket that was answered 14 seconds later by a Garrison layup, and the Lady Bucs got no closer than that five-point deficit.
Garrison’s game-high 26 points moved her past former Lady Bear Jenni Lingor for fourth in school and 10th in Missouri Valley Conference history. Boshe posted season highs of 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Malone pulled down eight rebounds and Phillips had five points, four boards and two assists in a career-best 17 minutes.
Missouri State shot 46 percent from the floor and had 14 assists on 15 made baskets in the second half and 23 helpers in the game. The Lady Bears shot 18-for-21 from the foul line compared to 3-for-3 for ETSU.
The Lady Bears play at Oklahoma State (4-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday evening in a game that will be televised locally on KY3.