Lovejoy's 21 leads Lions past ENMU, 76-58

Emporia, Kan. - Jasmine Lovejoy scored 21 points and narrowly missed out on a double-double as the Missouri Southern Lions defeated Eastern New Mexico, 76-58 tonight in the final game of the Emporia State Tip-Off Classic.

Southern (2-1) shot 42 percent from the field in both halves and out-scored the Zias (0-3) 43-29 in the second frame.

Lovejoy led all scorers with 21 points as she added nine rebounds and shot 8-12 from the field. Randi Henderson and Michelle Hedgecock had 11 points each, with Hedgecock adding 11 boards for her first double-double of the season. Jolea Apon had ten points, while five other Lions scored.

Both teams shot poorly for most of the first half with the Zias shooting at a 30 percent clip and the Lions shooting just 33 percent from the field in the first 15 minutes, but a three from Henderson with 5:40 left in the half gave the Lions a 21-20 lead. A post up shot from Hedgecock and a steal and fast break layup from Lovejoy gave the Lions a 25-22 lead.

Two free throws from Hedgecock broke a 26 all tie, while a three from Harris and a layup from her with a minute left made the score 33-26. A late three from ENMU made the halftime score 33-29.

The Lions' late run pushed the shooting percentage up to 42 percent with Lovejoy leading the way, scoring eight.

MSSU opened up the second half on and 8-2 run and led 41-31, forcing an ENMU timeout. A three from Kelby Fritz on the next possession pushed the Lions lead to 44-31. The lead was extended to 66-44 after a free throw from Lovejoy. A pair of free throws from Lovejoy and a late three from Erin Rice made the final tally 76-58.

The Lions forced 19 turnovers and committed just 13 themselves, while shutting down the bigger inside presence of the Zias and out-scoring ENMU 28-19 in the paint.

Southern will be back in action next weekend when the Lions play host to the Pizza Hut/Fairfield Inn Classic on Friday and Saturday.