Southern Illinois knocked off Missouri State during its previous road-trip, but the Lady Bears didn’t let that happen for a second time.

The No. 22 Lady Bears outscored Evansville by 20 points over the final 17 minutes Sunday afternoon for a 81-55 win, completing a sweep through their Indiana trip. 

Missouri State, which is 16-3 overall and 6-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, returns to JQH Arena to host Bradley on Friday evening. The Braves are the last remaining undefeated team in the MVC. 

The Lady Bears trailed 10-8 midway through the first quarter before clamping down defensively to hold Evansville without a field goal for nearly eight minutes and build a 23-11 lead with 6:59 until halftime. 

The Purple Aces closed the gap to 39-33 early in the third quarter. Senior Alexa Willard scored a 3-pointer and capped a 7-0 response, and junior Elle Ruffridge scored eight points in 70 seconds to make it 56-37 with 1:40 on the clock. 

Missouri State led by at least 16 points the remainder of the game, closing on a 10-0 run for its largest lead at the final margin. 

After coming out of the game early due to a hip injury on Friday night, sophomore Jasmine Franklin returned to the court on Sunday and scored a team-high 17 points to go with nine rebounds and three steals. 

Junior Brice Calip added 15 points, five boards, four assists and three steals. Willard finished with 13 points to pass Karen Rapier for 16th on the Lady Bears’ all-time scoring list. 

Missouri State shot 46% from the field overall, 4-of-15 from 3-point range and 17-of-21 at the foul line. 

The Lady Bears moved back into the AP Top 25 with the victories over the weekend, coming in at No. 24 on Monday. The updated USA Today Coaches poll will be released on Tuesday. 

After playing Bradley, Missouri State welcomes Illinois State to town on Sunday.