Franklin Leads 19th Ranked Lady Bears to Win over Kansas City

by Ben Adamson

Missouri State sophomore Jasmine Franklin scored a career-high 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting, and the 19th-ranked Lady Bears posted their highest assist total in eight seasons Sunday afternoon in an 83-58 win over in-state rival Kansas City at JQH Arena.

After missing her first field goal attempt, Franklin connected on her next 11 for the third-best shooting day in school history (and best since 1992) for a player with at least 10 makes, and the MSU defense held the Roos to 23 points in the second half. The Lady Bears’ 25 assists on 28 made baskets were their most since dishing out 28 helpers in a December 2011 win over Morgan State.

Missouri State (7-1) made six of its first seven shots on the way to a 16-4 lead after four minutes and led 25-14 after the first quarter before a 10-0 Kansas City (4-4) cut the margin to 28-24.

Brice Calip and Alexa Willard, who tallied 15 points apiece, responded with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Lady Bears, and Elle Ruffridge added another of MSU’s 10 triples to cap a 9-0 run at 44-29 with 1:23 left before halftime.

The Roos closed the margin to six points shortly after the break, but it was back to 14 at 56-42 on a Franklin basket with six minutes on the clock.

Emily Gartner, who grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds, scored six points in a 10-0 MSU run late in the third period that opened the lead to 71-49, and the Lady Bears led by at least 17 points the rest of the way, with freshman Trinity Knapp scoring her first career basket with 3:28 left in the game.

The Lady Bears held a 44-26 rebounding edge, with Willard grabbing a season-high seven and Franklin and Calip getting five each. Sydney Wilson handed out a career-high five assists and combined with classmate Mya Bhinhar for 11 assists without a turnover.

Missouri State shot 43.1 percent overall, 37 percent from long range and 17-for-21 at the foul line with only 14 turnovers. Franklin and Gartner snagged three steals each, and MSU had 11 as a team off 21 KC miscues.

MSU continues its three-game home stand on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Wichita State.

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