CEDAR FALLS – The 25th-ranked Missouri state girls’s basketball workforce and Elle Ruffridge lastly started defending their Missouri Valley Convention title Friday evening.
The Bears earned a 70-51 victory over northern Iowa, and Ruffridge returned to Iowa in spectacular vogue.
Ruffridge, who led the Pocahontas Space to back-to-back state championships, scored eight factors with two assists, two blocks, one steal and only one turnover within the team-best 33 minutes performed. The senior acquired the beginning in her return house to Missouri State (5-2 general, 1-Zero within the league).
“It felt nice doing it with my ladies once more,” Ruffridge mentioned. “We had been all very excited and anxious earlier than this primary comeback sport. We performed strong protection for 40 minutes and at last had enjoyable.
“You by no means know when the final time you play might be, so you must profit from it.”
This was the primary time he had returned to the courtroom for the state of Missouri because the December 19 loss to the state of South Dakota. The Bears had been compelled to remain on the sidelines as a result of optimistic COVID-19 take a look at outcomes amongst Degree I personnel.
They usually confirmed no results of extended free time.
Missouri State constructed a 20-7 lead after the primary quarter and was up 36-24 on the break. The Bears fired 9 of 18 pictures from the sphere within the first eight minutes and had been 16 of 24 from the beginning with 4 triples.
With just below seven to go, Ruffridge took an exit go and dropped a layup to make it 59-45 for Missouri State. She adopted up with a theft in the midst of the courtroom.
“It was an ideal first sport again and a good way to begin the convention,” Ruffridge mentioned. “Now’s the time to relaxation and be able to do the identical (Saturday).”
Missouri State is now 55-9 since late 2018, a streak that features a 31-6 document on the street. They’re additionally now 57-28 all-time in opposition to the Panthers, profitable six straight video games and 11 of the final 15 conferences.
Earlier this season, the Bears earned an 81-72 victory over Huge Ten contender Maryland and in addition outscored their in-state rival Missouri 72-58. Ruffridge scored a season-high 19 within the win in opposition to Missouri.
Missouri State will stay on the town for one more battle with the Panthers on Saturday. The tip is scheduled for four p.m. and the sport will air reside on ESPN +.