The Missouri State Lady Bears turned an eight point halftime deficit into a 12 point lead at the end of the third quarter and defeated the Southern Illinois Salukis 78-57 Thursday night at Great Southern Bank Arena.
MSU trailed 38-30 at the half, then used a 21-4 run in the third quarter to build up a double digit lead.
Aniya Thomas led all scorers with 25 points and had ten assists for the Lady Bears, who improve to 9-5 overall, 4-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Kennedy Taylor scored 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double.
Jade Masogayo put up a double-double as well with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
As a team, Missouri State had 24 offensive rebounds and 38 defensive boards. The 62 total rebounds ties for fourth most in a game in school history and the most since a team record 68 rebounds against Northern Kentucky on December 1, 2012.
The Lady Bears had 48 points in the paint and shot 42% from the field.
MSU went 3-13 from three point range, but the Salukis hit only one trey in six attempts.
Free throw shooting continued to plague MSU as the team went 15-25 from the line (60%) to SIU’s 10-14 (71%).
The Salukis hit only 23 of 71 attempts from the field (32.4%).
Southern Illinois drops to 6-8 on the season, 3-2 in the Valley.
Shemera Williams scored 17 points to lead SIU, who came into the night in a six way tie for first in the Valley, along with Missouri State, Drake, Illinois State, UNI, and Belmont.
The Lady Bears will play at Valparaiso Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on 93-3 A-M 560 KWTO.