Lady Bears Drop 64-56 Decision at Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. -- For the second straight game, Missouri State’s comeback bid fell just short, as Tulsa outlasted the Lady Bears, 64-56 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane used a 23-2 first-half scoring run to build a 15-point lead that would prove too much for MSU to overcome.
Missouri State came out of the gate hitting on all cylinders, scoring the first six points of the ballgame en route to building a 10-4 lead. But a three-pointer by Kara Vaughan ignited a TU scoring outburst that would ultimately give the Golden Hurricane a 27-12 advantage with just over nine minutes to go in the half. TU’s ReShawndra Jackson knocked down a pair of treys and accounted for eight points during the spurt, while the Lady Bears’ offense sputtered. MSU went more than eight minutes without a field goal as TU built its largest lead of the night.
But the Lady Bears answered behind the three-point shooting of junior Melissa Busby late in the half to head into the locker room down just 32-26 despite shooting just over 28 percent from the floor. In her first game action since tearing an ACL last February, Busby nailed the first of her three triples on the night with 2:19 to go in the half. Moments later, she connected from long range again, drawing MSU to within six points.
Busby would continue her hot shooting early in the second stanza, burying another deep three to cut TU’s lead to 36-30 a minute and-a-half into the period after the Golden Hurricane had stretched its advantage to 36-27 on a Larrissa Williams jumper.
Tatum Beer, who would come up big throughout the second half for TU, answered with a critical three-pointer to push the margin back to nine points. Beer would score 15 of her game-high 18 points in the second half and would go 7-of-10 from the foul line to help ice the victory for the Golden Hurricane.
Each time the Lady Bears would cut into the TU lead, the Golden Hurricane seemed to have an answer. After pulling to within 50-49 on a Jaleshia Roberson jumper with 4:19 to go, Tulsa would score nine of the next 12 points to stretch its advantage to seven points. MSU would cut the lead to four on a Casey Garrison three with just 0:49 left in regulation, but that would be as close as it would get.
It would be the defense of the home team that would prove decisive down the stretch, as the Lady Bears’ offense struggled to find its rhythm. MSU, which fell to 0-2 with the loss, would convert just 5-of-31 (.161) three-point attempts and 22-of-74 field goal tries on the night, and the Golden Hurricane forced 19 turnovers in all.
Missouri State’s defense also had a strong night, holding TU to 37.5 percent shooting from the field and forcing 20 turnovers.
Busby led the Lady Bears with 13 points and four steals, while Garrison totaled 10 points and team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists.
Next up, Missouri State returns home this Sunday (Nov. 23) to open their new home, JQH Arena, when they host Arkansas State. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.