The Missouri State Lady Bears keep on winning, downing the Missouri Tigers 79-72 Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena.
The “white out” game drew a crowd of 5,091, the sixth largest to see a Lady Bears game since The Q opened in 2008 and the biggest crowd since February 25th, 2011 against Drake (6,049).
The home team didn’t disappoint, as Jasmine Franklin’s shot in the paint with 5:15 left in the opening quarter gave Missouri State (9-1) an 11-5 lead.
The Lady Bears opened up a ten point cushion in the second quarter before the Missouri (3-8) cut the margin to three, 35-32, at halftime.
Mizzou briefly grabbed it’s first lead of the day when Strafford’s Hayley Frank hit two free throws at the 8:33 mark of the third quarter, putting the Tigers ahead 36-35.
Amber Smith followed with a layup to give the Tigers a 38-35 advantage, but just as quickly as Mizzou gained the advantage, Missouri State took it back.
Franklin hit a shot at the 7:55 mark in the third quarter to pull the Lady Bears within one, then Alexa Willard drained a three pointer with 6:29 left in the frame, putting MSU ahead 40-38.
The lead never changed hands again as Missouri State used a 9-0 run to go up 44-38, then a 10-0 run late in the third to make it 54-43.
Mizzou got within five of the lead three times in the fourth quarter, including twice in the final minute of regulation, but the Lady Bears hit seven of eight free throws in the final 59 seconds to seal the win.
Franklin picked up a double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
Emily Gartner also had double figures in points with 13 and rebounds with 11.
Brice Calip added 14 points, while Ruffridge, who connected on three treys, scored 13.
Smith led all scorers with 22 points for the Tigers, with Aijha Blackwell scoring 16 and Haley Troup 12.
Frank, who got a loud ovation from a big contingent of fans from Strafford, scored nine points and picked up eight rebounds.
It was an excited bunch of Lady Bears after the game as Gartner, Ruffridge and Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton talked to the media.
The Lady Bears hit the road to take on Gonzaga Friday night at 8:00 before wrapping up non conference play at The Q on December 31st in a 1:00 p.m. contest against William Jewell.
Missouri State out-rebounded Mizzou 44-34.
Despite hitting some big free throws late in the game, the Lady Bears shot only 17 of 27 from the foul line (63%). Missouri hit 16 0f 23 attempts (70%).
Both teams shot 43% from the field, with Mizzou making six three pointers. The Lady Bears had four.
MSU is ranked 18th in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll and #20 in the Associated Press poll.