Lady Bears start season with confident win in Florida


The Big Game 2021

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The 25th/24th ranked Missouri State Lady Bears wasted no time picking up where they left off last season, dominating Florida Gulf Coast in the opening half on the way to a 74-49 win to open their time at the Gulf Coast Showcase.

The Lady Bears defense held the Eagles to 6-34 shooting (17.6%) including 1-23 from range (4.3%) in the opening half.

Meanwhile, the MSU offense run notched a second quarter 11-0 run for a 42-11 lead.

Brice Calip opened the second half scoring with a layup, marking her 1000th point with the Lady Bears.

The senior guard is the 29th player in school history to reach that mark.

Other than that, the second half swung more in FGCU’s favor.

The opening half margin, however, proved insurmountable.

MSU earned double-digit scoring efforts from Abby Hipp (13), Abi Jackson (12), Sydney Wilson (11) and Calip (10).

The Lady Bears will get a much tougher challenge on Saturday as they face No. 12 Maryland in their second game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

“I think we approach it like every other game,” Hipp said after the opening day win. “We play Maryland tomorrow. Obviously they’re a great team, but we know we are too. We’re gonna take that for what it is. We’re just gonna play our game and control what we can control. It’s been eight months since we played our last game. We’ve been super excited. We’ve been working really, really hard and we’re just super excited to play.”

Tip-off from Fort Myers between the two ranked sides is set for 4:30 Central Time.

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