The Missouri State Lady Bears remain unbeaten and home and dominate the Southern Illinois Salukis 88-57 Saturday afternoon at JQH Arena.
Junior Elle Ruffridge drained four three pointers and went six for seven from the field, scoring 16 points to lead Missouri State (21-3, 11-1).
Alexa Willard added 13 points for MSU, while Jasmine Franklin picked up a double-double, scoring ten points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
Southern Illinois had a 7-5 lead three minutes into the contest, but Sydney Manning hit a three pointer with 6:34 left in the opening quarter to give MSU an 8-7 lead.
It was the first of eight treys in the game for the Lady Bears.
Senior Shameka Ealy hit a shot underneath the bucket, then Ruffridge drained a three to cap a 7-0 run, giving MSU a 12-7 advantage.
SIU pulled within three moments later, but that’s as close as they’d get the rest of the afternoon as the Lady Bears opened up a 26-15 lead after one quarter and 50-29 at the half.
MSU put 29 points on the board in the third quarter, with players off Coach Akama Agugua-Hamilton’s bench seeing a lot of playing time, and outscoring SIU’s bench 47-17.
Nicole Martin scored 14 points for Southern Illinois, who drops to 13-10 overall and 5-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Missouri State keeps a firm grip on first place in the Valley with six games left before the conference tournament.
The Lady Bears shot 57% from the floor and out-rebounded SIU 41-20.
MSU hit 18 of 21 free throw attempts.
The Salukis shot 35% for the game, and went just 2-13 from beyond the arc.
Coach Mox talked about her team’s impressive performance in her postgame press conference:
Missouri State continues its three game homestand with a 7:00 p.m. game against the Evansville Purple Aces on Friday, February 21.
The Lady Bears improve to 11-0 at home. The players and coaching staff talked after the game about the team having a goal to be undefeated at JQH Arena this season.
MSU is 45-6 since December 20th, 2018, ranking fifth nationally in total wins since that date.
Missouri State has won 13 games in a row at home against the Salukis, going a perfect 12-0 at JQH Arena.
Saturday’s announced attendance at The Q was 3,513.