Lovejoy, Apon lead Lions to exhibition win over Livin' The Dream

Joplin, Mo. - Jasmine Lovejoy and Jolea Apon combined for 31 points to lead the Missouri Southern Lions to a 69-48 exhibition victory over Livin' The Dream Wednesday evening (Nov. 11) at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Apon caught fire early on from beyond the arc by hitting five threes in the first 10 minutes of the first half as the Lions jumped out to a 20-6 lead.

LTD responded as Molly Carter and Alishia Cade combined to score the next nine points to lead a 9-2 charge that cut the Lions' lead to 22-15 with 6:11 left in the first half.

The Lions quickly regained control with a 9-2 run that was capped by a three-point play by Lovejoy that made it 30-17 with 2:23 left in the first half.

Southern went on to lead 34-21 at the break.

After Tahnee Balerio scored the first bucket of the second half for LTD that made it an 11-point game, the Lions effectively put the game away with a 14-2 spurt that was sparked by eight points by Lovejoy to go up comfortably 48-25 with 14:10 remaining.

Afton Baldwin later nailed a three at the 11:00 minute mark to give the Lions their biggest lead of the night at 53-29 and the Lions led by at least 18 points the rest of the way.

Lovejoy led all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.  Apon hit 5-of-13 from three-point distance to finish with 15 points.  LaTice Jones scored 10 points and finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Carter had a team-high 14 points for LTD, while Balerio added 10. 

The Lions shot 45.9 percent (28-of-61) overall from the field, while holding LTD to only a 27.6 percent (16-of-58) shooting clip. 

The regular season will begin on Sunday (Nov. 15) for the Lions, as they will play at Northeastern State at 2 p.m. in Tahlequah, Okla.  The Lions defeated NSU 75-62 (Nov. 22) in Joplin last season.