The Missouri State Lady Bears survive a scare from the University of North Texas to win 56-50 Sunday afternoon in women’s college basketball at JQH Arena.
The contest featured five ties and eight lead changes, with the Mean Green taking a 30-28 lead into the locker room at the half after MSU’s Paige Rocca hit a jumper in the lane at the buzzer to cut MSU’s deficit from four to two.
The Lady Bears took a 31-30 lead two minutes into the third quarter on a free throw by Jasmine Franklin, but the lead changed hands four more times in just over a minute before Missouri State’s Mya Bhinhar hit a three pointer at the 6:56 mark to give MSU a 35-34 advantage.
Missouri State built its lead to ten points at 44-34 when Franklin hit a pair of free throws with 2:55 remaining in the third period, but the home team couldn’t pull away, as North Texas cut the margin to five, 46-41 going into the final ten minutes.
The Lady Bears went cold from the floor for much of the fourth quarter, but continued to hold on to a tenuous lead.
When Aly Gamez hit a layup for North Texas with 5:09 left in regulation, the Mean Green pulled within three, 50-47.
But the Lady Bears got a big stop on defense as Franklin got the rebound off a missed shot and got the ball to senior Brice Calip, who took it to the net, hit the layup and got fouled with 2:41 remaining
That gave MSU a 52-47 lead, and North Texas couldn’t pull any closer.
Franklin’s 13 points and 15 rebounds lead the way for Missouri State, with Mariah White adding ten points.
Jazion Jackson and Madison Townley each score 11 points to lead North Texas.
Bhinhar hit two of Missouri State’s three treys on the afternoon, with North Texas going 1-11 from beyond the arc.
The Lady Bears forced 24 turnovers and had 14 steals.
The Mean Green outrebounded MSU 49-45.
Neither team shot well from the floor, with North Texas hitting 32% of its shots, and the Lady Bears hitting only 31%.
MSU hit nine of 15 attempts from the free throw line (60%), with the Mean Green going 11-20 (55%).
The Lady Bears improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Mean Green drop to 2-1.
Missouri State will play at Oklahoma State Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.