Lady Bears Trail UNI at the Half, 32-30
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – UNI connected from long range six times over the first 20 minutes of Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference match-up with the Missouri State Lady Bears to take a 32-30 advantage into the halftime locker room. Jacqui Kalin led all scorers with 15 points, while Christiana Shorter totaled 13 to lead the way for the Lady Bears.
The Panthers hit from long range four times in the final 11 minutes of the period to offset an 10-of-30 (.333) team shooting effort. Missouri State didn’t fare much better from the field, going just 10-of-26 (.385) as a team and committing nine turnovers.
UNI jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, thanks in large part to a technical foul assessed to MSU’s Jasmine Malone on the opening possession of the contest. Kalin sank all four free throw attempts to stake the visitors to a 4-0 lead just 17 seconds into the ball game, then cannned a wide-open three from the top of the key following a Shorter layup.
Tia Mays would score four unanswered points for the Lady Bears, and Malone’s step-back three with 11:09 to play gave MSU its first lead of the day at 14-12.
But UNI’s Mercedes Morgan came right back with a trey of her own to put the Panthers back in front. And, after a pair of Shorter free throws, Lizzie Boeck would convert the first of her two first-half threes at the 8:50 mark to give UNI an 18-16 lead.
MSU would reel off the next four points to grab a 20-18 advantage, but Boeck tied it with a short jumper that started a 7-0 spurt that would hand UNI its biggest lead of the half at 25-20 with 4:53 to go.
The Lady Bears fought back to tie it over the next two minutes, as Casey Garrison hit a pair of free throws and Shorter added three straight points. Kalin would then strike from beyond the arc again with 2:20 to go, and Boeck would add one more for good measure to make it a 32-28 game. Shorter scored with 17 seconds left to account for the final margin.
Garrison added seven points for the Lady Bears, an Boeck finished with eight for the Panthers.