Kirksville, Mo.- Michelle Hegecock poured in a career-high 19 points but the Missouri Southern Lions could not overcome a late surge by the Truman Bulldogs and lost 64-57 Saturday afternoon (Jan. 23) at Pershing Arena in Kirksville, Mo. The Lions' loss snaps a four-game winning streak over the Bulldogs.
A jumper by Laura Joya put the Bulldogs up by double-digits at 56-46 at the 5:49 mark of the second half, but the Lions battled back with nine straight over the next three minutes to make it a one-point game with 2:57 remaining.
Jolea Apon got things going with a three that was followed by layups from Jasmine Lovejoy and Hedgeock. Another layup from Lovejoy brought the Lions to within 56-55.
The Lions then had a chance to take their first lead of the game when they forced a miss on the defensive end, but committed an untimely turnover and Amy Galey made two free throws on the other end to put the Bulldogs up by three.
That would turn out to the Lions' best chance as another turnover led to a three by Breanna Daniels that put the Bulldogs up by six with just 1:20 left.
Hedgecock kept the Lions alive by nailing a jumper with 57 seconds left, but that's the last points the Lions were able to muster and Galey made three of her four free-throw attempts down the stretch to seal the victory for the Bulldogs.
Daniels and Becka McHenry helped the Bulldogs (7-11, 2-9 MIAA) get off to a quick start by combining for nine points that gave Truman an early 9-4 lead in the first five minutes of the opening half.
Hedgecock scored the Lions' first four points of the contest and then Danielle Harris and Hedgecock hit consecutive jumpers that made it a one-point game at 9-8 at the 14:22 mark of the first half.
After Daniels and Hedgecock traded buckets that made the score 11-10, the Bulldogs found a little breathing room with a 9-0 spurt to jump ahead 20-10.
The Lions (10-8, 4-7 MIAA) trailed 31-20 when Lovejoy nailed two free throws and Lindsey Rujawitz hit a layup that brought Southern to within seven, but Galey converted a three-point play with three seconds remaining in the half that once again gave the Bulldogs a 10-point advantage heading into the break.
Hedgecock's game-high output of 19 points came on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. She also recorded six rebounds. Lovejoy scored 17 and had a team-high seven boards. Apon dished out a career-best six assists for the Lions.
Galey led three Bulldogs in double-figures with 15 points and also produced a team-high six rebounds. Galey made of only 2-of-6 from the field but shot 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. Daniels scored 13 and McHenry added 11 along with a team-best six assists.
The Lions will now try to snap a two-game losing streak when they will host the Central Missouri Jennies on Wednesday evening (Jan. 27) at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The Lions lost the first matchup to the Jennies 71-58 earlier this season (Dec. 5) in Warrensburg, Mo.