by Missouri State Athletics
Missouri State picked up its second consecutive victory Friday afternoon at the Roo Holiday Classic,
taking the lead for good on Alexa Willard’s 3-pointer with 44 seconds left on the way
to a 68-65 decision over SIU Edwardsville at Swinney Recreation Center.
The Lady Bears (3-7) led 55-43 with 9:09 left in the game after Jasmine Franklin scored two of her 10 points, but the Cougars used runs of 8-0 and 7-0 over the next six minutes to close to 61-60 with 3:03 to play. SIUE (4-6) evened the score at 62-apiece with 1:31 left before Willard’s trey from the left wing made it 65-62 MSU.
Brice Calip, who scored 14 in the game to go with six rebounds, made a free throw with 22.3 on the clock for a 66-62 lead, SIUE banked in a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left, and Elle Ruffridge sealed it with two fouls shots with 8.6 left as the Cougars missed a triple at the buzzer.
Missouri State led 11-10 after a quarter despite a 2-for-17 shooting start, and Calip scored nine in the second period, including the first six of a 7-0 run for a 31-24 lead with 1:04 until halftime.
The Cougars cut the gap to four points on three occasions in the third quarter before Danielle Gitzen drained a trey and had a steal and score around a Sydney Wilson bucket for a 7-0 run and 51-40 lead with 2:10 on the clock. Gitzen scored nine in the quarter and 17 in the game.
The Lady Bears finished with a 54-36 rebounding advantage, including 25 offensive boards, with Emily Gartner’s career-high nine caroms leading a group of seven players with at least five rebounds. Gitzen had three of MSU’s eight steals, and Wilson had three assists, six points and six rebounds.