Jefferson City, Mo. - In a game that was postponed a day due to the blizzard that hit the Midwest on Monday night, the Missouri Southern Lions (12-7, 10-5 MIAA) held on for a 63-58 win over the Lincoln Blue Tigers (2-17, 1-14 MIAA) on Thursday night in Jefferson City, Mo.
Three Lions scored in double figures as sophomore Erin Rice scored 19, senior Jasmine Lovejoy had 17, and sophomore Kelby Fritz netted 12. The Lions shot a season-best 22-of-23 from the charity stripe.
Southern out rebounded the Blue Tigers 40-31 for the game and forced a game-high 18 turnovers and added 11 steals on the night. The Lions scored 15 points off of the 18 Lincoln miscues.
Lovejoy barely missed her second-straight, sixth of the season, double-double as she grabbed a team-high nine boards. Rice and junior Michelle Hedgecock pulled down seven each.
The Blue Tigers got out to a 4-2 lead before Southern went on a 12-1 run to go up 14-5 with 12:25 to go in the first stanza. Lincoln then would go on a 7-0 run to pull within two at 14-12 at the 8:46 mark. The Lions then would lead by six on a pair of free-throws my Rice at 1:56 left in the first half, 29-23. Lincoln would then score five unanswered points as the Blue Tigers pulled within one, 29-28, at the break.
Lincoln would grab the lead just once in the second half, 43-42, at the 8:31 mark and force just one more tie, 45-45, after that as the Lions would scratch and claw their way to the five point victory. The Blue Tigers would get the score within one twice more, 49-48 and 51-50, before Rice hit a layup and senior Lindsey Rujawitz hit a jumper to extend the lead to five at 55-50 with 3:26 left to go in the game. After Lincoln would hit a jumper to cut the lead to three the Lions would go a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, four from Lovejoy and two each from Rice and Fritz, and the game ended as Rice pulled down a defensive rebound.
The Lions will travel to St. Joseph to take on the Missouri Western Griffons on Saturday. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 5:30 PM. Southern will then travel to Pittsburg, Kan to take on the Gorillas on Wednesday February 9 in a Sonic Trophy Series game, tipoff for that is also at 5:30 PM.