Lady Bears? Balanced Attack Nets Second Straight Win
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State Lady Bears torched the nets to the tune of 58.3 percent shooting in the first half to build a double-digit lead over Wichita State, then turned back the Shockers’ comeback bid in the second stanza to post a 75-65 victory Saturday (Feb. 21) at JQH Arena. Led by Casey Garrison’s 15-point effort, five Lady Bears finished in double-figures, as MSU won for the second straight game to improve to 4-10 in MVC play and 8-17 on the season.
Despite being outshot by the Shockers (.464), the Lady Bears finished the game 25-of-55 (.455) from the floor and 21-of-25 (.840) from the foul line. MSU matched a season high with 18 assists while forcing 22 WSU turnovers on the day.
The Lady Bears took control of the game right out of the gate, connecting on their first seven field goal attempts to build an early seven-point lead. Garrison’s basket just 10 seconds into the game opened the scoring, and Jaleshia Roberson knocked down a three on the Lady Bears’ next possession. Roberson would hit two more shots during the key stretch and MSU wouldn’t miss a shot until Garrison’s 18-footer was off the mark seven minutes into the contest.
Wichita State’s Marcy Sudbeck carried the offensive load for the Shockers in the opening minutes, hitting her first three shots to keep WSU within striking distance.
After WSU trimmed the Lady Bear lead to 13-10 on a Daria Frazier field goal at the 14:24 mark, MSU would go on an 11-1 scoring run to extend its advantage to double-digits for the first time. Another Roberson trey highlighted the spurt and Jasmine Malone’s 15-foot jumper with 9:41 to play in the period stretched the margin to 24-11. The Lady Bears would push their lead to as many as 14 points before the Shockers used a 14-5 run to pull to within 36-30 with just over two minutes to go in the half.
The Lady Bears responded with eight unanswered points before WSU’s Marisah Henderson banked in a three-pointer just ahead of the first-half buzzer. MSU got 10-point performances from Roberson and fellow freshman Lacey Boshe in the opening period, and its 44 points equaled a season-high for offensive production in a single half.
The Shockers continued to cut into the Missouri State lead at the onset of the second half, scoring the first five points of the period to pull to back to within seven points of the Lady Bears.
But a Garrison three started an 11-4 MSU run over a three-minute stretch that would push the advantage back to 14.
Wichita State drew to within 63-56 after Henderson scored in the paint with 9:28 to play, but that would be as close as the Shockers would get. The Lady Bears scored eight straight points and over the ensuing three-and-a-half minutes to take their largest lead of the day and put the game away for good.
Boshe finished with 14 points and a team-high seven boards, while Roberson added six assists to her 10-point effort. Maggie Dwyer (12 points) and Jacque Griggs (11 points) joined the freshman trio in double figures.
The Shockers got a game-high 19-point day from Frazier and a double-double from Sudbeck, who turned in a 15-point, 13-rebound effort in the loss.
Next up, the Lady Bears continue their three-game home stand with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Evansville next Friday (Feb. 27), before hosting Southern Illinois at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, to close out the home portion of the schedule.