Omaha, Neb. - Sophomore Kelby Fritz set a career high with 20 points as the Missouri Southern Women (9-5, 7-3) handed the Mavericks of Nebraska-Omaha (5-9, 2-8) a 76-66 loss in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday.
Joining Fritz in double figures were senior Afton Baldwin with 18 and sophomore Erin Rice with 15. Rice also recorded her first double-double of the season as she pulled down 13 rebounds. Junior Michelle Hedgecock added seven boards.
The Lions broke down the Mavs' zone defense with hot shooting from behind the arc in the first half. The Lions hit 7-of-17 from behind the arc and turned a 21-19 lead into a 36-25 lead by the 3:16 mark.
Fritz led the charge for the Lions with 13 points in the first half. Baldwin came off the bench and nailed three first half 3-pointers and finished the half with 10 points. Fritz and Baldwin stepped up in place of the Lions' leading scorer, Jasmine Lovejoy, who picked up two fouls in the first 55 seconds of the game and sat out the rest of the half.
The shooting story was just the opposite for UNO. The Mavs went 0-for-7 on 3-pointers in the first half, but made 12-of-14 free throws to remain close at the half, down 38-30.Southern held the Mavericks to 0-for-7 from three point range in the first half, while the Lions were 7-of-17 from downtown. For the game Southern went 10-of-30 and held the Mavericks to 4-of-15.
The Lions started off the second half with two free throws from Hedgecock and then opened their largest lead of 14 points, 44-30, on a tip in from senior Jasmine Lovejoy and a jumper from Rice at the 17:20 mark. The Mavericks would not get any closer than within six points, 72-66, at the 2:02 mark, before Fritz hit two free throws to put the Lions back up by eight, 74-66. Senior LaTice Jones added the final two free throws for the Lions with 35 seconds left in the game for the final 10 point margin, 76-66.
The Lions will travel from Omaha to Maryville, Missouri for a game on Monday with the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. Tip off is scheduled for 5:30 PM. Southern will return home on the Jan. 22nd to face the Bulldogs of Truman State Univeristy, game time is 1PM.