Lady Bears Trail Lamar at the Break, 34-31
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Despite shooting just 31.4 percent from the field in the opening half of play, the Missouri State Lady Bears overcame a big Lamar scoring run to head into intermission trailing just 34-31 in their regular-season opener Friday evening at JQH Arena. MSU forced 10 turnovers and went 8-of-10 from the foul line to climb back into the contest after trailing by as many as 14 points.
Lamar sprinted from the gate by connecting on its first five attempts from the field and eight of its first 11 overall in the opening minutes of the contest. Jenna Plumley led the Cardinals with six points in the first eight minutes as the visitors built an 18-9 advantage with just under 11:46 remaining on the clock. LU would dominate the interior in the early going, scoring 14 of its first 18 points in the paint.
Missouri State mounted a rally of its own, as a jumper by Jasmine Malone and back-to-back baskets by Casey Garrison sliced the Cardinal lead to three points with just under 10 minutes to play in the half.
The Cardinals answered back with a 14-3 run over a five-and-a-half minute span to take their largest lead of the night at 32-18. Kalis Loyd totaled five of her nine first-half points during the stretch, as Lamar limited the Lady Bears to just one field goal during the key run.
But MSU got off the deck with a big run late in the period to draw to within three at the break. A pair of Hannah Wilkerson free throws with 3:20 to go initiated a 13-2 outburst. The Lady Bears went 6-for-6 from the foul line and Garrison rebounded from a 1-of-7 shooting effort to knock down a pair of jumpers, including a critical three with just over two minutes left.
Lamar was led by Kalis and Plumley, who each tallied nine points, while the Lady Bears were paced by Garrison’s seven points.