Lions Hold On to Down Gorillas

Joplin, Mo. - In a game that saw six ties and seven lead changes, Missouri Southern (7-3, 5-1 MIAA) held off a late surge by Pittsburg State (4-6, 2-4) Sunday afternoon downing the Gorillas 60-52 at The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in Joplin.

Pittsburg State  held their largest lead, four points (6-2), at the 16:18 mark in the first half of Sunday afternoon's match-up with the  Lions  before the Lions scratched their way to their largest lead of the game, 38-26, in the second stanza.  The Lions then withstood a late surge by the Gorillas and held on to a 60-52 victory in The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Southern was led by senior Jasmine Lovejoy as she recorded another double-double on the year with 20 points, to lead all scorers, and 14 boards, to lead both teams.  Lovejoy also added a game-high four assists and four steals.

Sophomore Kelby Fritz added 11 points for the Lions, as the only other scorer for Southern in double figures.

Junior Michelle Hedgecock pulled down 10 rebounds for Southern while hitting two clutch free throws late in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Lovejoy gave the Lions the lead at the 5:15 mark in the first half as she sank two free throws to put Southern up 22-20.  Southern never looked back as they finished the first half on a 10-4 run and started the second half with an 8-2 run to go up 38-26, the Lions largest lead of the game, at the 17:29 mark.

Junior Larrita Gipson hit a lay-up, two of her eight points, as time expired in the first half to give the Lions a 30-24 lead heading into the locker room.

Senior Afton Baldwin and Gipson recorded their second blocks of the season while freshman Kalie Lucas recorded her third blocked shot.

Missouri Southern will travel to Emporia, Kansas to take on the eighth ranked Lady Hornets of Emporia State University Wednesday night.  Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 pm.  The Lions will return home to the friendly confines of The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center next Saturday January, 8 as they host the fourth ranked Washburn University Lady Blues at 1pm.