SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State had four players score in double figures and two more finish with nine points Friday in an 84-70 victory over Missouri Valley Conference rival Indiana State at JQH Arena.
The Lady Bears (12-6, 5-3 MVC) forced 21 turnovers and out-rebounded the Sycamores (10-10, 4-4) by a 46-36 margin to improve to 7-1 at home.
Missouri State made eight of its first 12 shots from the field in building a 20-9 lead over the Sycamores. The Lady Bears led 4-0 just 30 seconds in, scored on their first five possessions for a 10-3 advantage and went on an 8-0 over a 90-second stretch that ended at the 14:40 mark with MSU ahead 18-6.
Deja Mattox kept ISU close, hitting her first six tries from three-point range, scoring ISU’s first 11 points and totaling 20 by the time she tied the game at 25-25 with a triple with 9:28 left in the half.
The Lady Bears scored five quick points on a Regan Soldner jumper and Jaleshia Roberson’s second three-pointer to lead 30-25, but then went cold, scoring no points over the next 3:27 until Karly Buer converted a three-point play for a 33-29 advantage and 5:06 left.
Casey Garrison scored MSU’s next four points to make it a 37-29 lead and a 7-0 run for the home team, and Roberson hit a third trey followed by two Christiana Shorter free throws for a 42-31 lead with 3:07 on the clock. Roberson then missed a three on MSU’s next possession that served as her school-record 678th attempt from beyond the arc.
Indiana State whittled the MSU lead down to 45-41 by halftime, connecting on 9-of-15 from beyond the arc in the first period. The Lady Bears overcame ISU’s long range shooting by making 16-of-35 field goals and holding a 21-17 rebounding edge. Six Lady Bears scored at least four points in the first half.
Missouri State’s lead remained at four points with 16:54 to go when the Lady Bears went on a 6-0 run with three different players scoring to open up a 10-point advantage at 56-46 and 15:44 remaining in the game. Indiana State cut the lead to seven on two occasions before Desiree Phillipshit a three with 10:36 left to provide MSU with its largest lead of the second half at 63-51 while establishing her career high with nine points.
The MSU lead was halved just 90 seconds later and Mattox drained a seventh triple with 6:58 on the clock to make it 63-60. Buer stopped the 9-0 run with a jumper in the lane on the Lady Bears’ next possession and Shorter came up with a steal and layup 21 seconds later to get the score back to 67-60. A Bry Snow free throw and Garrison layup completed a 7-0 run that ended with MSU leading 70-60 and 4:34 remaining.
Indiana State scored the next four points to close to six, but the Lady Bears quickly went back ahead by 10 and then got four straight points from Shorter for a 78-66 lead with 1:59 to play. The Sycamores failed to get closer than 10 from there as Roberson knocked four free throws in the final 24 seconds for the 14-point win.
Roberson led MSU with 19 points, Shorter added 18 along with seven rebounds and a career-high seven steals, while Buer netted 13 points for a season high and third straight game in double figures. Garrison scored 12 and dished out eight assists against one turnover. Snow matched career highs with nine points and six boards.
Mattox scored 31 for the Sycamores, who made just 2-of-12 from distance in the second half. MSU collected 20 offensive rebounds for a 19-8 edge in second-chance points, and scored 27 points off ISU’s 21 turnovers.
The Lady Bears host Illinois State (11-8, 6-2) at 2:05 p.m. Sunday to conclude the first time through the MVC schedule. The Redbirds won 68-59 at Wichita State Friday.