Missouri State posted its best defensive effort in 25 years in terms of points allowed Friday evening, picking up a 60-32 victory at Loyola inside Gentile Arena.
Loyola’s 32 points is the fewest scored by a Missouri State opponent since the Lady Bears earned an 80-32 victory against Eastern Illinois on Jan. 2, 1992, and helped MSU move to 9-10 overall and alone in third place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings at 5-3 before hitting the midway point with a 1 p.m. Sunday game at Indiana State (10-9, 4-4).
The Lady Bears bolted to a 14-0 lead at the first media timeout and led 23-2 with 2:31 left in the first quarter after Onye Osemenam scored in transition.
The Ramblers (2-17, 1-7) cut the gap to 14 points at 32-18 with 2:15 left before halftime, and the MSU defense clamped down from there, limiting the home team to just two field goals over the final 22:15 of game time, including a stretch of more than 14 minutes.
Missouri State led by as many as 29 points and shot 46 percent for the game while owning a 42-25 rebounding edge. MSU held the Ramblers to 10-for-42 from the floor and forced 19 turnovers.
Aubrey Buckley became the first MSU player in 12 years to make at least six shots without a miss, going 6-for-6 from the floor with 13 points and seven rebounds. Liza Fruendt scored 13 points and canned three 3-pointers, matching Melody Howard’s 1994 streak of six straight games with at least three treys for the longest in MSU history.
Lexi Hughes finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and fellow senior Rachel Swartz blocked a career-high three shots.