by Ben Adamson
Led by career highs of 23 points and eight assists from
Brice Calip, the No. 19/24 Missouri State Lady Bears ended Drake’s 17-game home win streak with an 89-83 victory Sunday afternoon
at the Knapp Center.
The Lady Bears improved to 20-3 overall and 10-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play with their eighth win of the season over a team ranked 52nd or better in Sunday’s NCAA RPI and remain alone atop the MVC standings. The Bulldogs, who entered the game at No. 25 in the RPI, fell to 16-7 overall and 8-3 in Valley play.
Missouri State trailed for only 11 seconds on the afternoon, bolting out of the gate with an 11-0 run to lead 15-5, and adding a 19-3 spurt after the Bulldogs closed the gap to 17-16, capped by an Emily Gartner 3-pointer for a 36-19 advantage with 5:20 left until halftime.
Gartner’s trey was MSU’s last field goal until the break as Drake closed to 39-31, and the Bulldogs made it 44-37 before Calip knocked down a trey, Sydney Manning hit two more and Elle Ruffridge converted a Drake turnover into a layup to complete a 19-8 run at 63-45 with 1:44 to play.
The Bulldogs ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run, Ruffridge added a pair of triples early in the fourth for a 74-62 advantage with 5:41 left, and Drake whittled the lead to 77-71 with 2:10 on the clock.
The Lady Bears came up with a big defensive stop on the next possession, setting up a 12-for-14 showing at the foul line over the final 46.7 seconds, including 8-for-8 from Alexa Willard. Drake got as close as 87-83 during the final sequence.
Calip shot 7-for-11 from the floor and 8-for-10 at the line while surpassing 900 career points, extended her streak to 24 assists since her most recent turnover, and completed her second eight-assist, no turnover game in the last three outings after that had not been done at MSU since 2010.
Ruffridge added 14 for the Lady Bears, Willard scored 11 and Abby Hipp had 10, as MSU shot 41.4 percent overall, 8-for-20 from 3-point range and 23-for-32 at the foul line.
Missouri State had 11 steals and forced 18 DU turnovers while only committing 10 giveaways. Drake held a 36-35 rebounding edge and shot 7-for-28 from 3-point land.