Offensive struggles burden Shockers in road loss

The Shockers left Carbondale, Illinois, last weekend with confidence, having defeated Evansville for their seventh win of the season. Two days later, adversity hit once again; the winning team faced a challenging opponent in Southern Illinois. 

On Saturday the Shockers fell to Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri, 74-45. The Bears entered with an 11-4 record in the Missouri Valley, in a three-way tie for second-place in the conference. Missouri State stands tied with Drake and Southern Illinois, each a game behind from Northern Iowa. 

Rangie Bessard led the Shockers with 14 points on five made baskets. Missouri State guard Kenzie Williams led all scorers with 18 points. 

Bessard’s recent scoring increase has led to more consistency in Adams’s offense. But the defense has sputtered late in games, struggling sufficiently in games away from  Charles Koch Arena. 

The Shockers were within range, down 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. The deficit continued to grow; the Bears led 28-17 at the end of the first half.

Taquandra Mike finished with seven turnovers. She had no assists and shot 25 percent from the field.

Mike’s offensive efforts fell short, and Jaleesa Chapel fell into foul trouble; she fouled out with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. She finished with four points and a steal. 

With Chapel on the bench the deficit continued to grow. The Bears outscored the Shockers 46-28 in the second half. 

WSU returns to Koch Arena this weekend for their final series of games before preparing for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Moline, Illinois, beginning March 13.

The Shockers host Illinois State at 7 p.m. Thursday in Koch Arena. They finish the regular season at 2 p.m. Saturday against Indiana State in Koch Arena.