SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Lady Bears’ have already faced a seasons-worth of adversity, but they always take it head-on.
Missouri State beat Loyola 55-38 in the Missouri Valley Conference opener on Friday afternoon at JQH Arena in Springfield.
The win is the 20th straight conference win for the Lady Bears (10-2, 1-0) dating back to February 2020.
Isabelle Delarue led the team in scoring with 13 points, which included making a pair of three-pointers.
JQH fell silent in the second quarter when Mya Bhinhar appeared to tweak her ankle on the back of a teammates’ shoe. Bhinhar needed help up and immediately went back to the bench.
She wouldn’t return, but Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said she would be alright and is day-to-day.
“We kind of thrive in adversity,” Mox said. “Since I have been here it seems like all we have had is adversity. You have to find a way to continue to go and play. I think we have always had the next woman up mentality and people have always stepped up. That’s what it means to be a Lady Bear, you are your sister’s keepers. You have to be ready when your number is called.”
The game was the first for Missouri State since losing Jasmine Franklin to a season-ending knee injury against Toledo the week before Christmas.
Still, the Lady Bears refused to budge and made no excuses.
“It’s a total team effort. Everybody wants everyone to be successful,” Mox said. “That has always been my philosophy, too. No one player is bigger than the team, it’s just about the team. Over the years so many people can score 20 on any one day. Because no one player is better than the team, the season isn’t going to be over when we lose one player. There has to be people that step up and there is always a role for you.”
Abi Jackson scored 12 points to go with nine rebounds and a career-high four blocks.
The 38 points is the fewest Missouri State has given up in conference play since only allowing Loyola to score 36 points back in 2018.
The Lady Bears host Valpo on Sunday to wrap up the first weekend of conference play.