News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

March 2, 2013

Second-half run lifts ISU over MSU

TERRE HAUTE — Missouri State forward Christiana Shorter drove down a wide-open lane to score with no Indiana State players within five feet of her to cap a 10-0 run by the Bears Friday night in Hulman Center.

It was not a familiar site for a Sycamores’ defense used to allowing 47 points per game. The Bears led 43-32 after Shorter’s bucket.

But there was still 16 minutes to go in the game.

ISU coach Teri Moren had some choice words for the Sycamores during the next timeout, and ISU assistant John Marcum asked the Sycamores for five stops in Missouri State’s next seven possessions.

The Sycamores delivered as they went on a 16-3 run on the way to a 71-63 Missouri Valley Conference victory.

Senior Taylor Whitley picked up a steal in the run, led the fast break and missed her shot, but teammate Marina Laramie was there to follow up the shot.

Laramie had her teammates’ back the rest of the game, finishing with a career-high 27 points. The 6-foot-2 freshman made 11 of the 16 during that six-minute surge that transformed into a 34-17 run over the final 16 minutes.

“The guards were getting us great looks … they just weren’t falling,” said Laramie, who combined with post Racheal Mahan to shoot 6-of-19 from the field in the first half as ISU (17-9, 9-6 MVC) fell behind 31-26 at the break. “We just kind of had to turn it around and knew if we wanted to win we had to help out our guards and start finishing inside.”

Missouri State went 1-of-6 from the field after hitting 5-of-6 to start the second half.

“After coach Moren got into us a little bit, we knew we had to come together to win the game,” Laramie added. “We’re at our best when our defense is all connected. When we did that, we pulled ahead and stayed ahead.”

Whitley added 16 points for ISU, and Mahan chipped in a big bucket during ISU’s run.

“We were able to take that defense to the offensive end,” Whitley said.

Missouri State, coming off two straight wins and fighting hard to improve its seventh place standing, kept battling. Desiree Phillips connected on a 3-pointer to pull the Bears within 53-51 with 5:30 to go, but Whitley found Laramie for a jump shot.

Fellow freshman Kasey Johnson, also had three points during that 16-3 run, played steady defense in the second half. She got a deflection for a steal and Whitley converted on the fast break to stretch it back to five.

Missouri State wasn’t done. The Bears got back within two as Tyonna Snow got to the foul line after a Karly Buer 3-pointer.

Whitley got in the lane for another layup and Laramie hit two more free throws to keep the Sycamores’ lead at four, and ISU got consecutive stops to stretch the lead in the final minute at the foul line.

Whitley also had five assists and zero turnovers for the Sycamores.

“Tremendous win for our team,” Moren said. “Marina Laramie was fantastic. Taylor Whitley was unbelievable as well. Just her leadership.”

Laramie’s performance was the most for a Sycamore freshman since Bianca Jarrett poured 32 points on Southern Illinois, including 23 in the second half, in 2008. Kelsey Luna also had 27 in 2006.

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