SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State Lady Bears shot 59.4 percent and outscored visiting Illinois State 56-33 after halftime for an 83-68 Missouri Valley Conference victory Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena. The Lady Bears (13-6, 6-3) had 15 assists against two turnovers in the second stanza and overcame a 21-0 first-half ISU (11-9, 6-3) run to move into a tie with the Redbirds and UNI for second in the league standings halfway through the MVC season.
Karly Buer scored a career-high 25 points (16 in the second half) on 10-of-12 shooting, Casey Garrison had 14 of her 20 points and eight of her 10 assists in the second period, while Christiana Shorter and Jaleshia Roberson each scored 14 points to put four Lady Bears in double figures for the second straight game.
After trailing 35-27 at half, back-to-back Roberson threes with 15:10 left in the game got the Lady Bears within one possession at 42-41 before the Redbirds scored seven points on their next two possessions to steal the momentum back with a 49-43 advantage.
Buer accounted for six straight MSU points to get the Lady Bears back to 49-47, and Garrison and Lacey Boshescored on MSU's next two possessions to keep the Lady Bears within two points before consecutive ISU turnovers set up three-pointers from Garrison and Buer for a 57-53 Missouri State lead.
Boshe then connected on a three-point play for an 11-0 run and 60-53 lead, and after ISU responded with its own three-point play, Roberson fired back with her fourth triple and Buer added a driving bank shot at 8:43 for the Lady Bears' largest lead of the game at 65-56.
Garrison hit two free throws for a 67-56 score, and the Redbirds pulled within eight points and were behind by 10 when Garrison hit a long jumper and Roberson got a steal and layup 15 seconds later for a 75-61 lead and 3:39 on the clock. The Redbirds got no closer than 11 points from there, shooting just 36.7 percent and committing 11 turnovers in the second half.
The Lady Bears made five of the their first six shots from the field and held an 11-3 lead just 3:18 in behind seven points from Shorter, but went cold from there as the Redbirds went on a 21-0 run and MSU came up empty on 16 straight trips down the floor.
Missouri State's scoreless drought mounted to 9:25 when Shorter stopped it with a layup for a 24-13 score, and Roberson's three-pointer at the 4:28 mark cut ISU's lead to single digits at 29-20. Buer converted a three-point play with 2:07 left for a 29-23 score, and MSU made it a six-point game once more before the Redbirds hit a shot at the buzzer for a 35-27 halftime lead.
Missouri State made just seven of its final 28 shots to finish 12-for-34 for the half compared to 13-of-27 for ISU. The Redbirds also hit four treys in six tries and both teams committed 13 turnovers.
MSU finished 31-of-66 (47 percent) from the floor and 8-for-18 from three-point range. ISU shot 42.1 percent overall and 7-for-15 from three. Each team made 13 free throws in 20 tries.
The Lady Bears return to action Feb. 2 with a 7:05 p.m. game at Drake (11-9, 5-4).