Joplin, Mo. – The Missouri Southern Lions women (14-8, 12-6 MIAA) welcomed the defending NCAA Division II National Champions and 20th ranked Emporia State Lady Hornets (15-7, 12-6 MIAA) and promptly sent the Lady Hornets packing with another road loss, 82-74 in overtime.
Senior Jasmine Lovejoy set a new career-high scoring 38 points while sophomore Erin Rice added 18, and sophomore Kelby Fritz added 11 for the Lions. Lovejoy also secured her sixth double-double of the season by leading Southern with 10 rebounds.
The Lady Hornets started the game on a 11-0 run before Southern answered with a lay-up by Lovejoy. Emporia State would then go on to lead by as many as 10, 14-4 with 14:10 left in the half, before the Lions would scratch and claw their way back into the game.
Southern would then use a 7-0 run, all by Lovejoy, to close out the half with the 32-30 lead.
The Lions used 14 points off of 11 Emporia State turnovers, while only turning the ball over five times themselves.
Lovejoy led all scorers in the first half with 17 and Fritz added nine, all from downtown, for Southern.
The Lions would lead by as many as seven, 49-42, early in the second half off of a lay-up by Rice with 10:41 to play. Emporia State would answer with a 7-0 run to tie the game and then eventually take the lead at 58-57 with just under five minutes to play. Rice would then hit a long shot from downtown as the shot clock expired and senior Jasmine Lovejoy would nail two charities to take the lead back at 62-60. Senior Afton Baldwin would then add another two freebies to make it 64-60 with 2:50 left to play.
After a free-throw and a lay-up by the Lady Hornets to pull within one, 64-63, with just under two minutes to play, Rice hit one-of-two from the charity stripe with 1:38 left to play.
Rice went to the line and hit another one-of-two and Lovejoy hits a slashing lay-up to put the Lions up over the Lady Hornets 67-63 with just under a minute to play. Emporia then went down the court and converted on a lay-up to pull within two with 50 seconds remaining.
After a missed shot, Baldwin would disrupt the out-let pass and the Lady Hornets would hit a lay-up to tie the game at 67-67 with 15.2 seconds remaining.
Baldwin hits a three-pointer to give Southern a 76-73 lead with 0:48 left in the first OT. With free-throws from Fritz, Lovejoy, and Rice, two each, down the stretch in OT; the Lions held on for their third overtime victory of the year and their first win over a ranked opponent this season.
The Lions will travel to Topeka, Kan. on Thursday to take on the 16th ranked Lady Blues of Washburn University. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 pm.