Women's basketball drops 62-60 heartbreaker at Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Okla. - A late pair of free throws by Central Oklahoma sealed a win for the Bronchos as the Missouri Southern women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 62-60 decision at the Hamilton Field House.

The Lions (9-3, 3-2 MIAA) were led in scoring by sophomore guard Sharese Jones who finished with a team-high 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field while hitting 6-of-8 from the free throw line while dishing a season-high five assists. Dominique Mosley recorded her fourth double-double of the season adding 11 points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Alexis Fitzpatrick chipped in 10 points while Shonte Clay scored six points and corralled seven boards.

The Bronchos (8-5, 3-3) were led in scoring by senior guard Jill Bryan who finished with 13 points. Britney Morgan added 12 points and eight assists while Olivia Mason chipped in eight points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. 

After Central Oklahoma opened the game with a 9-3 lead after the first five minutes of play, the Lions fought back with a 11-4 run to take a 14-13 lead. The teams would trade the lead six times over the next three minutes before Shawnee Phillips hit a three-pointer with 8:30 to play in the first half to take a 22-20 lead. Southern extended their lead to nine at 36-27 on a Mosley layup with 1:07 to go before the Bronchos scored four of the final six points of the first half as the Lions took a 38-31 lead into the break. 

Looking to put the game away in the second half, the Lions were unable to shake the Bronchos as UCO opened the first five minutes on an 11-3 run to take a 42-41 lead. The Lions responded with a layup from Phillips and a three pointer from Fitzpatrick to re-take a four point lead (46-42) with 13:52 to play. UCO answered with a 9-0 run over the next three and half minutes to take a 51-46 lead before Clay and Kenya Brown pulled Southern back within one at 51-50 with 7:52 to go.

UCO held the lead for the next five and half minutes before a three pointer from Nicole Hartzog tied the game up at 57. The teams traded a pair of layups over the next minute and half as Jones hit a layup with 54 seconds to go to tie the game at 59, before the Bronchos' Bryan hit a free throw and Mason hit two more to take a three-point lead. Phillips hit one final free throw with two seconds left, but it was too little too late as Southern was the hard-luck loser.

The Lions shot 40.4% (21-52) from the field for the game, while shooting a season-best 50% (6-12) from three-point range. Southern went 12-18 (.667) from the free-throw line while outrebounding the Bronchos 40-38. The Lions nabbed 10 steals and dished out 13 assists.

Southern wraps up their two-game road swing in the Sooner State on Saturday traveling to Tahlequah to face the Northeastern State RiverHawks (5-6, 2-2) at 1:30 p.m. at the NSU Event Center.