First-half spurt leads No. 10 Lady Hornets to big 97-54 victory over Lions

The No. 10-ranked Emporia State Lady Hornets pulled away in the middle of the first half on the way to a 97-54 victory over the Missouri Southern Lions Saturday evening (Feb. 13) at White Auditorium in Emporia, Kan.   

Jolea Apon continued her hot shooting with four threes in the first nine minutes of the game to keep the Lions close early on.

Apon scored the Lions' first nine points of the game with three treys for a 9-6 lead with 17:50 left in the first half. 

A jumper by Erin Rice put the Lions up 11-9 when Jocelyn Cummings hit a three to start an 8-0 spurt that gave the Lady Hornets an eight-point lead.

The Lions fought back as a layup from Michelle Hedgecock and Apon's fourth three of the half brought the Lions to within 18-16 at the 11:30 mark of the first half.

But that's when the Lady Hornets seized control with a 13-0 run that featured threes by Lacy Corker, Jamie Augustyn and Cassondra Boston for a 31-16 edge with 8:48 left in the opening half. 

The Lions missed all four of their field-goal attempts and both of their free throws during that stretch, while the Lady Hornets went 4-of-4 and 2-2 at the foul line over that same span. 

The Lady Hornets expanded the lead to 48-29 at the break.

Things didn't get any better for the Lions (13-10, 7-9 MIAA) in the second half as Rachel Hanf hit a layup and a three to help the Lady Hornets (22-2, 15-2 MIAA) score the first eight points after halftime for a comfortable 56-29 advantage. 

The closest the Lions could get from that point was 21 after a three-point play by Danielle Harris made it 57-36 with 16:23 remaining.

Apon led the Lions in scoring for the third straight game with 18 points on 6-of-15 overall from the field and 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. 

Boston led four Lady Hornets in double-figures with a game-high 22 points. Corker scored 17 and Hanf added 15.  Alli Volkens scored 11 along with a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Lady Hornets enjoyed a huge advantage on the boards, with a 46-23 edge overall and a 15-4 advantage on the offensive glass.

The Lions will now host the current No. 13-ranked Washburn Lady Blues on Wednesday evening (Feb. 17) at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

The Lions knocked off the then No. 6-ranked Lady Blues 70-65 in the season's first meeting (Jan. 9) in Topeka, Kan. behind 23 points and 17 rebounds from Jasmine Lovejoy.