CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP)Jasmine Franklin led a balanced attack with 14 points and nine rebounds and No. 23 Missouri State beat Southern Illinois 67-55 on Wednesday night to claim the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title for the 14th time since 1990.
Brice Calip added 13 points and Abby Hipp scored 12 for the Lady Bears (16-2, 12-0), who are off to their best start since the 2003-04 club opened 20-1. They are 12-0 in Valley play for the first time since 1996.
Gabby Walker scored 18 points for Southern Illinois (8-11, 5-9) and Makenzie Silvey added 14. The Salukis were without leading scorer and rebounder Abby Brockmeyer, averaging 14.2 points and 9.3 rebounds, for the fifth straight game with an ankle injury.
Missouri State has four games remaining in the regular season – against just two opponents in Loyola Chicago and Evansville. The Lady Bears host the Ramblers on Saturday and Sunday.
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