Missouri State Lady Bears Hang on to Beat Bradley 62-56

The Missouri State Lady Bears pulled away in the final minute, beating the Bradley Braves 62-56 Friday night at JQH Arena.

MSU stays unbeaten in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 10-0 record, and the Lady Bears improve to 14-2 overall.

Bradley (12-9, 8-6) used a 9-0 run in the first quarter to jump out to a 13-8 lead, but Missouri State answered with seven points in 28 seconds, including a three pointer by Elle Ruffridge and buckets by Abby Hipp and Jasmine Franklin.

That gave the Lady Bears a 15-13 edge after one quarter.

Missouri State outscored Bradley 21-15 in the second frame to go up 36-28 at halftime.

When Ruffridge hit a layup with 7:30 left in the third, the Lady Bears had their largest lead of the game, 40-28.

But the Braves, who were a preseason pick to finish second in the Valley, went on a 12-0 run to tie the game 40-40, with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

MSU carried a five point lead, 49-44, into the final ten minutes, but Bradley played tough, tying the contest 49-49 when Tatum Koenig hit a three pointer with 9:13 left.

When the Braves got within one of the lead with 6:51 remaining, Calip hit a big three pointer that made it 55-51.

Mahri Petree’s layup with 1:18 on the clock brought the Braves within two, 55-53, but Sydney Wilson hit a layup, was fouled and hit a free throw with 59 seconds to go.

Bradley got the lead down to three with 23 seconds left, but Calip hit two big free throws at the 20 second mark to help seal the win.

Hipp led three Missouri State players in double figures with 12 points, while Franklin and Calip each added 11.

Petree led Bradley with 13 points.

MSU shot just 38% from the field for the game (24-63) and went 4-15 from the free throw line, while Bradley shot 43% (24-56) and went 3-16 from beyond the arc.

The Lady Bears hit just 50% from the free throw line (10-20), but the Braves got to the line only seven times, hitting five free throws.

Missouri State won the battle of the boards 39-37.

The Lady Bears and Braves play again Saturday at The Q, with the tipoff at 5:00 p.m.

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