Mean Green Too Harsh for Lady Bears

by Missouri State Athletics

Missouri State and North Texas swapped the lead seven times in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon, and fittingly the game went to overtime, where the Mean Green pulled out an 83-76 victory after making 11-of-12 free throws in the extra period.

After freshman Sydney Wilson hit her second 3-pointer of the game for a 25-24 MSU lead with 4:08 left until halftime, the Lady Bears (1-4) were unable to connect from the field again for nearly seven minutes until Alexa Willard scored for a 34-30 deficit with 7:20 left in the third quarter.

North Texas (3-4) pushed the margin to six points twice more, and Brice Calip’s trey from the right wing with 4:03 on the clock cut the deficit to 38-37. The Mean Green were back ahead 43-37 just 60 seconds later, and the margin stayed between two and six points until Danielle Gitzen hit an elbow jumper with 7:58 left in the fourth for a 55-all tie.

Willard gave the Lady Bears their first lead of the second half with a layup 18 seconds later, and Calip followed to give MSU 13 points in the first three minutes of the period and a 59-55 advantage.

The Mean Green countered with an 8-0 run to lead 63-59 with 5:40 left, and the lead changed hands five more times before the end off regulation, with Jasmine Franklin making it 70-68 Lady Bears with 1:40 to play. North Texas tied it at 70 with 43 seconds left, and MSU had the final possession, but Calip’s shot rolled off the rim.

North Texas scored the only field goal for either side in the extra frame on its first possession to lead 72-70, and it was still a one-possession game at 74-71 with 90 seconds left before the Mean Green began their frequent trips to the foul line. MSU was hindered by five turnovers in overtime and 21 in the game.

Calip scored a career-high 18 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, while Franklin added 16 and Gitzen scored 13. Shameka Ealy grabbed seven rebounds, and eight players combined for MSU’s 10 steals.

The Lady Bears shot 39 percent overall compared to .438 for UNT, and got to the foul line 34 times, making 23. North Texas went 19-for-22 at the charity stripe. MSU won the rebounding battle for the fifth straight game, 44-38. Terriell Bradley poured in 36 points to lead the Mean Green.

Missouri State returns home to JQH Arena on Dec. 4 for a 7 p.m. contest with South Dakota (7-1).