AMES, Iowa -- The Missouri State Lady Bears red-hot shooting traveled with them into the NCAA Women's Tourney.
Danielle Gitzen led the No. 11 seeded Lady Bears (24-9) with 20 points as they defeated the No. 6 seeded DePaul Lady Blue Demons 89-78. The Lady Bears advanced to the round of 32 to play either the winner of the Iowa State vs. New Mexico State game in the Chicago Regional.
Missouri State took over the game in the second-quarter. The Lady Bears outscored the Lady Blue Demons 19-10 to take a 42-33 lead at halftime. Missouri State then built a 21-point lead in the second-half.
Stoutland High School graduate Alexa Willard added 20 points. Sophomore Elle Ruffridge provided a spark off the bench for the Lady Bears. The Iowa native scored 15 points.
Chante Stonewall led DePaul with a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The win is the Lady Bears first in the NCAA Women's Tournament since Jackie Stiles led the school to the Final Four in 2001.