Missouri State Lady Bears Open Missouri Valley Conference Play with 55-38 Win Over Loyola at JQH Arena

The Missouri State Lady Bears open Missouri Valley Conference play with a 55-38 victory over the Loyola Ramblers Friday afternoon at JQH Arena.

It’s the 20th straight win in Valley play for the Lady Bears, who completed a perfect record in conference games last season.

Missouri State improves to 29-1 at home since the start of the 2019-20 season.

The contest was briefly tied 2-2 less than two minutes into the game, but the Lady Bears went on an 8-0 run with buckets from Mia Bhinhar, Sydney Wilson, and Isabelle Delarue to take a 10-2 lead.

Loyola got a three pointer by Trinity Clinton with 40 seconds left in the first quarter to make it a 10-5 game after the first ten minutes of play.

Bhinhar limped as she was helped off the court by teammates after tweaking an ankle with 6:55 left in the second period.

Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton says she doesn’t know if her 5-9 senior will be ready to go for Sunday’s home game, but says Bhinhar will be back.

The Lady Bears extended the lead in the second quarter, going ahead by 15 points, 20-5, when Paige Rocca hit a three pointer.

MSU took a 26-18 lead into the locker room at the half.

Loyola cut the margin to seven on a couple of occasions early in the third period, but could get no closer as MSU closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 42-27 lead into the final frame.

Delarue finished with 13 points, sinking three treys, while Abi Jackson scored 12 points.

Clinton led the Ramblers in scoring with nine points, followed by Allison Day with seven.

Missouri State shot 31.9% from the floor (22-69), but Loyola shot only 24% (12-50).

The Lady Bears committed ten turnovers to Loyola’s 18, and Missouri State out-rebounded the Ramblers 48-40.

MSU went 7-14 from the free throw line (50%), with Loyola going 10-16 (62.5%).

The Lady Bears improve to 10-2 overall, 1-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while the Ramblers drop to 8-4, 0-1.

Missouri State will play Valparaiso Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at JQH Arena.

AUDIO: Listen to Coach Mox’s postgame press conference:

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