Southern women's basketball uses strong second half to defeat Newman 72-58

Joplin, Mo. - The Missouri Southern women's basketball team defeated the Newman University Jets 72-58 tonight at home to push their record to 3-1 overall on the year.

Led by 15 second half points from junior guard Jolee Sharp, who finished with a team-high 17 points, the Lions used a 45 point second half and 60 percent shooting from the field in the half to break open a tie game at the break and roll to a 14 point victory.

Newman was led by 21 points and six rebounds from guard Kianna Flannagan. Guard Alexandra Ciabattoni added 16 points and six rebounds for the Jets.

With the game tied at 27 at the break, the Lions opened the second half on a 9-2 run, that included six points from Sharp, giving the Lions a 36-29 lead coming out of the locker room.  With the Jets cutting the lead to three at 36-33, Southern went on a 8-0 run over the next minute and a half that included a pair of three's from Sharp and junior guard Johnna tenBerge to extend the lead to 44-33 with 13:53 remaining in regulation. 

With Newman cutting the lead to six twice over the next eight minutes, a layup from junior guard Shatara Stone with 5:32 remining in regulation made the score 55-47, but a pair of free throws from Newman's Chynna Ramelb and one from Kianna Flannagan made the game 55-50.

Countering the Jets with three points of their own, the Lions made the score 58-50 on a layup and free throw from junior forward Dominique Mosley. A pair of free throws by Sharp, one from junior guard Tee Singleton and three more from senior forward Erin Rice extended the Lions lead to 14 at 64-50 with 2:03 remaining in the game. With Newman ending the Lions 9-0 run, the Jets cut the lead to 64-53, but a three-pointer from the left corner from freshman guard Kori Dodson pushed the lead back to 14. 

Newman responded with a pair of free throws, but a pair of free throws Mosley pushed the lead back to 69-55. A three-pointer from Newman cut the lead to 69-58, but a free throw from tenBerge and a pair from Sharp sealed the 72-58 win for the Lions.

Jumping out to a 8-7 lead that included four points and two rebounds from junior center Shonte Clay, Newman used a 12-0 run that stretched almost seven minutes to take a 19-8 lead over Southern.  A jumper from Dodson at the 9:02 mark of the second half ended the run as the Lions went a 6-0 run of their own, including a layup and a pair of free throws from Rice, to cut the lead to 19-14. With the Jets getting two of the next three buckets, a Singleton layup plus free throw cut the score to 23-19.

A Jet layup pushed the lead back to six, but a free throw from Singleton plus a pair from Mosley made the score 25-22.  A three-pointer from tenBerge tied the game at 25 with 54 seconds remaining in the half. The Jets responded with a layup, but the Lions returned the favor as Stone tacked on a layup with eight seconds left before the break to make the score all tied up at 27 going into the locker room.

The Lions finished the game shooting 51.2 percent from the field (22-43), while the Jets were only 33.9 percent (20-59) from the field. After notching 25 assists on 37 field goals in their win over Manhattan Christian Monday night, the Lions again shared the ball well as they finished the evening with 15 assists on their 22 field goals.

With eight days off until their next game, the Lions return to action November 23 when they host the Avila University Eagles at 7 p.m. in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center as part of the Pizza Hut/ Fairfield Inn Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Missouri Southern State University.