Lovejoy's career night leads Lions past Missouri S&T, 73-68

Rolla, Mo. - Jasmine Lovejoy produced a career-high 25 points to lead the Missouri Southern Lions to a road win at the Missouri S&T Lady Miners, 73-68 in a non-conference matchup Wednesday night (Dec. 8) at Rolla, Mo.

The pivotal point of the game came when the Lions trailed 59-54 at the 6:53 mark of the second half but grabbed the lead with a 10-2 run to go up 64-61 with 2:42 remaining.

Randi Henderson split a pair of free throws and made a layup that trimmed the deficit to 59-57. LaTice Jones then tied the score with a layup at the 4:18 mark.

Two free throws by Courtney Kemp put the Lady Miners back on top by two, but Kelby Fritz answered for the Lions with a pair of freebies of her own and Lovejoy put the Lions ahead by three with four free throws for a 64-61 Lion advantage.

The two teams then traded baskets and turnovers but the Lions forced a miss on the defensive end and Kelby Fritz hit two free throws to give the Lions some breathing room at 68-63 with 44 seconds remaining.

MST got within three on a three-pointer by Andrea Downs that made it 69-66 with 21 seconds left, but Lovejoy sealed the victory by converting four consecutive free-throws from that point.

The Lions (6-2, 1-1 MIAA) got off to a quick start as Michelle Hedgecock scored four points to help the Lions score the first six points of the game.

Courtney Kemp got the Lady Miners on the board with a jumper and Jazmine Bell converted a three-point play that made it 6-5.

The first-half continued to go back-and-forth the entire way and featured 11 lead changes. The Lions trailed 36-33 when Jones made a jumper that brought Southern to within one at 36-35 at the half.

Lovejoy's 25 points came on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and a career-best 9-of-11 from the foul line. Jones also tallied a career-high 14 points on a career-best 6-of-10 from the floor. Lovejoy and Jolea Apon each led the Lions with four assists.

Kemp led three Lady Miners (3-3) in double-figures with 14 points. D'Naya Mims had a team-high seven rebounds.

The Lions held the Lady Miners to only a 35.7 percent (22-of-52) shooting clip from the field during the deciding second half after allowing MST to shoot 50 percent (12-of-24) in the opening half.

The Lions will now be off 12 days before hosting Southwestern College (Kan.) on Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The Lions defeated Southwestern last season 76-41 at the Pittsburg State Classic in Pittsburg, Kan.