Lady Bears Pull Away for Win at SIU

by Missouri State Athletics

Missouri State turned a one-point halftime lead into a 70-58 victory at Southern Illinois on Friday, getting 19 points from Danielle Gitzen and 16 from Brice Calip to extend its win streak to 13 games.

The Lady Bears (14-7, 10-0 Missouri Valley Conference) won their 17th consecutive league contest, tying for the second-best streak at MSU and fifth-longest in league history. It’s also the fourth time Missouri State has started 10-0 or better in Valley play.

MSU fell behind 9-2 after four minutes thanks to a 1-for-9 shooting start, but got their first lead since it was 2-0 when Jasmine Franklin ran through a passing lane and scored for a 22-21 advantage with 7:09 until halftime.

The lead changed four more times to a 31-30 MSU lead at intermission, and again when SIU scored out of the break before Calip hit an and-one and Franklin scored 20 seconds later for a 36-32 lead, one the Lady Bears would not give back.

A 7-0 run made it 43-35 with 4:40 left in the third, Sydney Manning connected from long range for a 46-37 margin, and Gitzen scored in the early minutes of the fourth quarter for leads of 53-43 and 57-46. 

The Salukis (10-11, 3-7) cut the gap to six points before Alexa Willard answered with back-to-back buckets for a 62-52 lead with 2:30 to play, and MSU was ahead by at least eight points for the rest of the contest.

Missouri State shot 17-for-19 from the foul line in the second half and 84 percent in the game, finishing 35.9 percent from the field compared to 38.2 percent for the Salukis, who entered the contest 8-1 at home this season.

The Lady Bears won 41-34 on the boards, led by seven from Calip. MSU forced 19 turnovers, as Franklin’s career-high four steals helped Missouri State to a season-high 14 thefts and plus-eight in turnover margin.

The game was the 100th MVC contest coached by Kellie Harper, with 72 of those resulting in MSU wins to place her fifth in Valley history in league winning percentage. 

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