Topeka, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern Lions (5-9, 1-7 MIAA) got off to a hot start against the 20th ranked Washburn Lady Blues (13-3, 6-1 MIAA) but could not hang on as they dropped their fifth straight this season, 76-53, Saturday afternoon in Lee Arena.
Southern got things started early in the game with 20th ranked Washburn Lady Blues opening up on a 5-0 run that included a lay-up by freshman Haley Weathers and a three pointer by junior Erin Rice. After a lay-up by Washburn's Ebonie Williams junior Tatianna Washington connected on her own to give the Lions a 7-2 lead just under three minutes into the game.
The Lady Blues would then go on an 11-3 run to take the lead at 13-10 before Rice would connect on her second three pointer to tie the game at 13-13 with 13:12 left in the first half.
A free throw by Lady Blues' Cassie Lombardino would give Washburn their second lead at 14-13, before Southern senior Michelle Hedgecock would score her first two points of the season on a lay-up to give the Lions their final lead at 15-14 with 12:05 to play.
Washburn would lead by as many as seven during the remainder of the half before connecting on four free throws with under a minute left to open their lead up to nine heading into the locker room.
Rice would lead all scorers with eight while sophomore Shatara Stone led the way for Lions' rebounders with four.
The second half saw Washburn open up with a 9-2 run and expanding their lead to 16, 49-33, with 13:41 to play.
The next 12 points for Southern would all come from beyond the arc as junior Kelby Fritz would score two, junior Samantha Gray one, and Stone added three free throws, after getting fouled on a three point attempt.
For the game Fritz would lead the Lions in scoring with 13, while Rice added 11, and senior guard Larrita Gipson netted seven. Weathers and Stone led Southern in rebounds with five each and Rice added four.
The Lions will continue their road trip Monday as they travel to Hays, Kansas to take on the Fort Hays State Tigers at 5:30 pm at Gross Memorial Coliseum.