Missouri State improved to 4-1 in the Missouri Valley Friday with a 56-50 win at Illinois State.
The Lady Bears (8-8, 4-1) used a 16-2, first-half run to build a comfortable lead, holding the Redbirds to just 32 percent from the field in the first two quarters.
The Redbirds clawed back in the third and shot 50 percent in the second half. However, the MSU defense staved off the late comeback. The Lady Bears forced 20 turnovers in the win, their second straight game forcing 20-plus.
Audrey Buckley led the way with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Liza Fruendt added 11 points and 9 boards.
Coaches and staff from both teams wore blue and black ribbons in support of MSU legend and assistant coach Jackie Stiles, who recently began treatment for eye cancer.
Kellie Harper’s team will look to continue its stalwart defensive effort Sunday at Bradley. The game in Peoria will tip off at 2 pm on KOZL 27.