Missouri State shot 54.7 percent and posted the third-best rebounding margin in school history Sunday afternoon, good for the Lady Bears’ fifth straight victory with an 88-66 decision against Evansville at JQH Arena. The victory was win number 99 for head coach Kellie Harper
MSU improved to 6-7 overall after a 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference start for the 13th time in 27 league seasons. The Lady Bears owned a 52-20 rebounding edge, led by Jasmine Franklin’s second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, while Emily Gartner (9) and Sydney Manning (7) posted career-high rebounding totals.
Alexa Willard paced the offense with a career-high 25 points on 11-for-15 shooting, including eight straight makes in the first half and a 3-for-5 showing from beyond the arc. Danielle Gitzen added 15 points and six assists, Gartner tallied 13 on 6-of-8 shooting, and Dariauna Lewis scored a career-high eight. Mya Bhinhar (5) and Manning (4) had career high assist totals, and MSU finished with 21 helpers as a team.
The victory marked MSU’s 10th consecutive MVC home win, tying for the fifth-longest streak in school history, as well as the Lady Bears’ 51st win in their last 64 overall Valley contests, and Kellie Harper’s 99th victory at Missouri State.
The Lady Bears are back in action Sunday, Jan. 13, when they host Southern Illinois.