By: Ben Adamson
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A remarkable season for the Missouri State Lady Bears ended Sunday afternoon with an 89-62 setback to No. 1 overall seed Stanford in the Sweet Sixteen at the Alamodome.
The Lady Bears (23-3), tied a school record for fewest losses in a season, posted the second-best winning percentage in school history (.885), and as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament tied the best seed ever in MSU’s 16 appearances en route to the Lady Bears’ fifth Sweet 16 trip.
Stanford (28-2) led 15-3 after six minutes and never looked back, ending the Lady Bears’ 19-game win streak, the second-longest in school history, with the help of a 15-for-32 showing from 3-point range. The Cardinal held Missouri State to 31 percent shooting from the floor, a tick below their No. 2 nationally ranked defensive average.
The game still featured plenty of highlights for the Lady Bears, including a 25-point fourth quarter in which Elle Ruffridge went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc to improve to 15-for-23 (.652) in her NCAA Tournament career, the best percentage in school history.
Jasmine Franklin collected 13 rebounds, her fourth straight NCAA game in double figures, and broke MSU’s tournament record with 64 rebounds in six career games.
Senior Brice Calip dished out four assists to set an MSU single-season record with a 2.82 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Ruffridge scored a game-high 18 points and Abi Jackson scored 11 while blocking three shots.
Missouri State also set a school record with its plus-10.8 rebound margin for the season and allowed 57.2 points per game, the second-best defensive average in school history.