Joplin, Mo. - Sophomore Erin Rice came off the bench for the Lions and set a new career high for the thrid time this year scoring 30 points, but it was not enough as the eighth ranked Lady Blues of Washburn University (11-1, 7-1 MIAA) downed Missouri Southern (7-5, 5-3 MIAA) 7571 Saturday afternoon in The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The Lions started on a strong note against the Lady Blues opening 9-1 lead at the 17:21 mark of the first half on a layup by senior Jasmine Lovejoy and held the lead at 11-4 at the 13:25 mark before Washburn used a 15-4 run to over take the Lions at the 9:26 mark in the first half. Southern would be down as much as 13 points twice in the first stanza before the Lions would make a run of their own (15-4) to pull within one, 36-37, going into the locker room.
Rice came off the bench for Coach Maryann Mitts' squad and led all scorers in the first half with 14 points in the first stanza and Lovejoy added 12.
Southern shot 45.2 percent from the floor (14-of-31) for the first half and held the Lady Blues to 37.9 percent shooting (11-of-29).
The Washburn lead never got above eight again, twice in the second half at 55-47 & 57-49. Rice finished with the afore mentioned 30 points and Lovejoy added 18 for Southern. Rice nearly missed her first double-double of the season pulling down nine boards while Lovejoy added eight of her own.
Southern finished at 48.3 percent on 29-of-60 shooting from the field.
Senior LaTice Jones fouled out at the 7:42 mark in the second half with five points and four boards for the Lions.
The Lions will be at home Monday as they host the Tigers of Fort Hays State Univeristy with tipoff at 5:30 PM from The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.