Missouri State’s nine-game winning streak ended Thursday evening at Illinois State as the No. 17/21 Lady Bears were unable to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit in a 78-66 setback inside Redbird Arena. The Lady Bears fell to 23-4 overall and 13-2 in Missouri Valley Conference play, but remain alone atop the standings, while Illinois State moved to 16-10 and 8-7 in league play.
Down 37-24 at the half, Missouri State cut it to a one point deficit by the 5:25 mark to 41-40, and the Lady Bears pulled within a point twice more before ending the third period down 48-45. The Redbirds hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to cap a 10-2 run and lead 56-47 at the 7:35 mark and finished 5-for-5 from long range in the final 10 minutes to thwart MSU’s comeback attempt. The Lady Bears pulled to 62-57 with 3:46 left but got no closer.
The last time Illinois State beat a ranked opponent at home was in 1992 also against the Bears when the school was known as Southwest Missouri State.
Missouri State heads to Bradley (20-6, 11-4) at 2 p.m. Sunday.