Topeka, Kan. - The Missouri Southern Women's basketball team (14-9, 12-7) fell to the No. 16-ranked Washburn Lady Blues (19-4, 15-4) 70-56 Thursday night in Topeka, Kan.
The Lions shot just 20.8 percent (5-of-24) from downtown as Washburn pulled away in the second half inside Lee Arena.
The Lions were out-rebounded by Washburn 43-30, as the Lady Blues shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61).
Southern would grab three leads in the first half, as Lovejoy hit a layup at the 15:59 mark to give the Lions their first lead at 6-5. Junior Michelle Hedgecock would hit two freebies at 13:38 for the 11-9 advantage, and senior LaTice Jones hit two charities herself to give Southern its final lead at 5:54 in the first half at 22-20. The Lady Blues would then go on a 9-3 run to close out the first half with a five point lead at 30-25.
Junior Larrita Gipson led the Lions with five points in the first half. Jones and Lovejoy both added four, while Lovejoy led Southern in rebounding with four.
Washburn came out of the locker room on a 9-0 run, to lead by 14 (39-25) with 17:24 left to play. The Lions would then mount a 12-1 run to pull within three, 40-37 with 14:43 to play. That run would start on two free-throws by sophomore Kelby Fritz, Lovejoy added five of her 13 points; while Baldwin added a three from downtown, and senior Lindsey Rujawitz added a layup. The Lady Blues would kill the run on a three-pointer from Stevi Schultz with 14:01 left in the second half. Southern would get the lead back down to four once again on a layup by sophomore Erin Rice, before Washburn would take control. After Gipson's layup with 12:18 remaining in the game the Lady Blues would go on to outscore Southern 25-15 over the final 11:58.
The Lions will travel to Hays, Kan. to take on the Fort Hays State Tigers this Saturday with the tipoff scheduled for 2pm.