The Missouri State Lady Bears honored seniors Sydney Wilson and Aniya Thomas in a pregame ceremony, then dominated the Indiana State Sycamores 77-66 Saturday afternoon at Great Southern Bank Arena.
Missouri State (19-8, 14-4) jumped out to a 15-4 lead just four and a half minutes into the contest and never lost the advantage.
Thomas scored nine of her team’s first 13 points.
Indiana State (10-17, 5-13) cut the lead to three on a three pointer by Bella Finnegan at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter, then got within three again after a Kennedy Taylor layup for Missouri State, but would fail to get closer the rest of the game.
The Lady Bears took a 23-18 lead after one quarter and went ahead 44-26 at halftime.
MSU was rolling late in the third quarter with a 20 point lead, when Taylor had to be helped off the floor with 1:24 left.
Moments later, Jade Masogayo hit the floor hard and was helped off the court with 55 seconds left in the quarter.
In her postgame press conference, Lady Bears Head Coach Beth Cunningham says she believes both players will be okay, but was only told they would be unavailable for the rest of the game.
Indiana State cut the lead to ten points with just over four minutes left in the game, but the seniors punctuated the victory as Thomas hit a shot underneath and Wilson drained a three pointer to put the Lady Bears up 77-62 with 1:47 remaining.
Taylor led MSU with a double-double, scoring 23 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, while Thomas added 20 points and Wilson 11.
Finnegan’s 19 points led the way for the Sycamores.
The Lady Bears shot 46% from the field for the game (29-63), while Indiana State shot 38% (24-63).
MSU went 13-18 from the free throw line, with Indiana State converting on 13 of 16 attempts.
The Lady Bears out-rebounded ISU 37-35.
Missouri State will play at Drake Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. before wrapping up the regular season at Northern Iowa next Saturday.