Missouri State used a strong start and stalwart second-quarter defensive effort to earn a 79-61 victory over Southern Illinois Friday at JQH Arena, the fifth straight win for the Lady Bears.
Alexa Willard scored 16 points before halftime, while Aubrey Buckley and Danielle Gitzen scored 10 apiece after the break to pace a balanced attack for MSU (17-10, 13-3 MVC).
The Lady Bears completely stalled the SIU offense in the second quarter. The Salukis made just one of 15 field goal attempts in the frame, allowing MSU to build a 20-point halftime lead.
With the Valley Tournament around the corner, the Lady Bears clinched the second seed in Moline. The 13-3 start is the program’s best in five seasons under head coach Kellie Harper.
Missouri State has two games remaining in the regular season, beginning with Evansville at 7 pm Thursday in Springfield.