Redbirds suffer a heartbreaking 73-72 loss to Missouri State
Written by Joe Kennedy on February 13, 2021
Coming off a 69-52 loss to nationally ranked Missouri State the Illinois State Women’s basketball team looked for a bounce back effort Saturday at Redbird Arena to avoid losing three straight games.
The Redbirds set the tone early by storming out to a 15-4 lead early in the first quarter. The hot start was an opposite of what plagued the ‘Birds in their previous outing against the Bears. Terrion Moore led the way in the first quarter as 8 of her 22 points came in the first frame.
It was in the second quarter where the Redbirds would hold their largest lead of the game with a 17-point margin. The Bears top player Brice Calip was limited to just 4 points in the first half. Elle Ruffridge would step up and contribute 8 for Missouri State.
Late in the second quarter Redbird sharpshooter Mary Crompton knocked down two three-pointers but it was Missouri State who would score the last for points of the half making the score 40-29.
The Redbirds and Lady Bears went back and forth at the start of the 3rd quarter. After maintaining a 11-point lead at half, the Redbirds allowed Missouri State right back into the game. With 4:34 left in the third quarter, the Lady Bears brought the lead to just three points. Terrian Moore made sure ISU’s lead would not go away, as she had 8 of her 24 points in the third quarter.
Fouls helped the Lady Bears crawl back into the game, making seven out of their 12 attempts in the second half. The Redbirds were also out rebounded and gave up 20 points in the paint in the second half.
“They went at us in the paint, they had a good game plan, but we knew that It was going to happen,” said Head Coach Kristin Gillespie.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Redbirds were only ahead by six points. Elle Ruffridge was able to score her only points of the quarter in a quick fashion, as she tied the game at 59 with 6:42 left. The final 15 seconds of the game saw three lead changes. As Juju Redmond was able to take the lead with 5 seconds left.
Senior Brice Calip got the last opportunity of the game, as she gave Missouri State the lead with just 1 second left on the clock. Redmond was not able to get the last second heave off, and the Redbirds fell in back-to-back games to the 25th ranked Missouri State Bears.
“As a coach, my heart breaks for the kids in our locker room, I know how bad I wanted them to win,” said Gillespie.