Lady Bears open exhibition season with 75-55 win
The Missouri State women’s basketball team turned a two-point lead into a 75-55 victory over Arkansas Tech Thursday evening at Hammons Student Center, outscoring the Golden Suns 18-0 over the game’s final six minutes in the Lady Bears’ first exhibition contest of the 2006-07 season.
After Arkansas Tech’s Lauren Dennis converted a pair of free throws with 6:12 remaining to cut the Missouri State advantage to 57-55, Tiff Terwelp’s lay-in on the Lady Bears’ next possession keyed an offensive outburst that would eventually put the game out of reach, as Missouri State cranked up its defense to hold the Golden Suns scoreless for the remainder of the ballgame.
Missouri State was in command early in the game, as Terwelp and freshman center Ashley Lord used a noticable size advantage over the Division II Golden Suns to carry the Lady Bear offense throughout the first half. Terwelp scored 11 of the Lady Bears’ first 19 points and knocked down all six of her first-half field goal attempts as Missouri State led by as many as 14 points in the opening half and entered the locker room with a 38-28 advantage. Lord chipped in eight, as the Lady Bears outscored the Golden Suns 22-10 in the paint over the contest’s first 20 minutes.
The lead swelled to as many as 16 points in opening minutes of the second half before Arkansas Tech climbed back into the game with hot shooting from beyond the three-point arc. The Golden Suns cut the margin to 50-46 on Melanie Pierce’s trey with just under ten minutes remaining and twice trimmed the Missouri State lead to two points before the Lady Bears sealed the win with their decisive run.
Terwelp hauled in 11 rebounds and led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the floor, while Lord posted a solid effort in her first action as a Lady Bear, scoring 15 points to go along with five rebounds. Junior guard Tahnee Balerio also played a key role in the victory with a 14-point, 12-assist effort, as the Lady Bears hit 52% of their field goal attempts in the second half and out-rebounded the Golden Suns by a 40-24 margin for the game.
The Lady Bears will conclude the exhibition season Sunday, Nov. 5, when they host Pittsburg State in a 2:05 p.m. contest at Hammons, before opening the regular season Saturday, Nov. 11 versus Iowa in the WBCA Preseason Classic in Kansas City.