Lady Bears send seniors off with win in home finale

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MSU Bears Football

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Lady Bears achieved a major accomplishment with their senior day win.

Missouri State completed a perfect home conference schedule with the 59-45 win against Loyola on Sunday.

Jasmine Franklin scored a team-high 12 points, but all Lady Bears (18-2, 14-0) that played scored at least two points.

Franklin also led the team with 17 rebounds, which is the most for the team since 2009.

Before the game the team honored four of its seniors, Elle Ruffridge, Brice Calip, Emily Gartner and Bri Ellis, although all have an option to return next season.

“To be honest, it hasn’t even hit me yet,” Calip said. “I think it will hit me later tonight or tomorrow, but just knowing that I gave my all on the effort side and defensive side. In general, I just wanted to win for this team.”

“It’s very, very, very emotional,” Gartner said. “We have such great teammates. Like (Jasmine Franklin) says: teammates, sisters, people for life. These are my people and I just love them to death.”

The Ramblers (10-10, 8-8) proved to be an upset-minded bunch out of the gate as they raced out to a 7-0 lead.

The Lady Bears would gain a seven point lead of their own following a Franklin layup in the second quarter.

Neither team would gain a larger lead until the Lady Bears went on an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 45-33.

But the loudest ovation happened with just under 30 seconds to play.

Ellis hit a scooping underhanded layup while crashing to the floor and sending her teammates and the JQH fans into a frenzy.

“It was a special day, but honestly I feel like everyday is so special because it’s really hard to find a program like that where everyday you love going to practice or you love even running sprints,” Ellis said.

The Lady Bears will wrap up the Valley season with a road trip to Evansville next weekend before Hoops in the Heartland in the second week of March.

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