Second half run keys Southern's 62-59 win over Drury

Joplin, Mo. - A 13-0 second half run by the Missouri Southern Lions' women's basketball team helped Southern defeat the Drury Lady Panthers 62-59 this afternoon at the Leggett Platt Athletic Center.

Led by 15 points from junior guard Jolee Sharp, 13 points from junior guard Shatara Stone and 10 points from senior forward Erin Rice, the Lions (6-1) overcame a poor first half shooting from the field to shoot 15-for-31 (.484) in the second half.

Drury (4-2) was led by 15 points from guard Katie Pritchard and eight points apiece from guard Lauren McCurry and center Emilie Gray.

With the Lions jumping out to a 6-4 lead, Drury responded with a 12-4 run holding the Lions scoreless for over five minutes before a free throw from Tee Singleton and a three pointer from Sharp closing the gap to 16-10 with 9:18 remaining in the first half.   

The Lions closed the gap to 23-19 on a layup by Sharp before Drury closed the first half on a 9-5 run going into the locker room up 32-24.

With the Lady Panthers extending their lead to 14 at 44-30, their largest of the game, in the first six minutes of the second half, the Lions' tightened up their defense and went on a 13-0 run over the next four and half minutes to close the gap to within a point. The run included five points from Sharp, four from Rice and a pair of layups from Stone.

A jumper by Drury's Emilie Gray stopped the run for the Lady Panthers, but a pair of free throws from Stone and a layup by junior forward Dominique Mosley gave the Lions their first lead (47-46) since the 16:09 mark of the first half.

Responding with a 9-3 run over the next four minutes, Drury took a 55-50 lead with 4:03 remaining in the game. Clawing their way back into the game, the Lions' used a layup from junior center Shonte Clay, a jumper from Rice and three-pointer from Singleton to tie the game at 57.

With each team trading a pair of free throws to keep the score tied at 59 apiece, a five-foot jumper from Rice with 1:22 remaining proved to be the game-winner as a free throw from Singleton sealed the game for the Lions.

Using a 36-20 points in the paint advantage, the Lions shot 23-of-57 (.404) from the field on the day and despite a season-high 24 turnovers, forced 21 Lady Panther turnovers that they converted into 17 points.

The Lions return to action next Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when they travel to Truman State University to take on the Bulldogs in Kirskville in their MIAA conference season opener.