The Loyola University Chicago women's basketball team gave host Missouri State all it could handle this afternoon at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. before ultimately falling by a final count of 61-52. The Lady Bears (16-11 overall) improve to 12-4 in MVC play with the win, the Ramblers (2-25 overall) drop to 1-15.
How It Happened
Two makes by Citiana Negatu at the free throw line put Loyola in front early on, 6-5. Tiara Wallace muscled up a shot in traffic to stretch the Rambler lead to 10-7 at the 2:07 mark of the opening frame. Negatu connected on back-to-back three-point attempts to cap off a quarter-ending 8-0 run that saw the Maroon & Gold open up a 16-7 edge.
Negatu's hot shooting carried over to the start of the second quarter as she finished off glass to up the Loyola lead into double figures, 18-7. Brandi Segars answered a Liza Fruendt three with a triple of her own to push the margin back to nine, 21-12, with 6:13 remaining in the half. Segars' make would prove to be the final field goal of the half for either team but the Lady Bears connected on eight of 10 tries from the charity stripe over the final 5:25 to trim the Loyola lead to 21-20 at the intermission.
Kaitlyn Williams connected on her first three of the afternoon just 11 seconds after the intermission to reestablish a four-point lead for Loyola, 24-20. Missouri State would then erupt for a 14-0 run that was capped off by a Fruendt layup to race in front, 34-24, with 5:32 to go in the third quarter. Loyola refused to go away as it battled back to within seven, 42-35 on a Katie Salmon bucket seconds before the buzzer.
Following a layup by Danielle Gitzen to open the scoring in the fourth quarter, an old-fashioned three-point play by Williams sparked an 8-0 Rambler run that saw Loyola cut the margin to one, 44-43, with 6:54 to play. Consecutive scores by Alexa Willard and Gitzen pushed the Missouri State lead to five, 50-45, but Wallace drove into the lane minutes later to pull the Ramblers to within two, 52-50. Missouri State proved to have the final answer though, closing the game on a 9-2 run to collect its 16th victory of the season.
Inside The Box Score
- Wallace and Williams scored 12 points apiece to lead Loyola on the offensive end this afternoon. Wallace also dished out six assists, finishing just one helper short of her season high in the category of seven that was set on Friday night against Wichita State.
- Negatu and Segars also chipped in 10 points each as the Ramblers put four players in double figures in scoring for the first time since Dec. 30 against Southern Illinois.
- For the second time in as many games, Salmon flirted with a double-double, scoring eight points to go along with nine rebounds. She also came away with a career-best four steals and tied a career-high with two blocks.
- Loyola held Missouri State to only 32% shooting (18-of-57) while it operated at a 39% clip (19-of-49). The Lady Bears offset that discrepancy from the free throw line where they knocked down 22 of their 26 attempts.
- Fruendt paced a trio of Lady Bears in double figures with a game-high 18 points.
Loyola opens up its final homestand of the season on Thursday evening when Evansville comes to Gentile Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off.