Joplin, Mo. - The Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team fell 65-58 to Livin' The Dream at home this afternoon in their exhibition opener. The Lions were led offensively on the day with 13 points from sophomore guard Nicole Hartzog and 10 points from junior guard Johnna tenBerge.
Using a 17-8 run in the first six minutes of the second half to close a twelve point halftime deficit, the Lions got to within three at 41-38. Trailing 33-21 at halftime, the Lions used strong defense and got into an offensive rhythm to tie up the game at 44 when senior forward Erin Rice made a fast break layup with nine minutes remaining in the game. Rice, who finished the day with eight points and eight rebounds, overcame early foul trouble to give the Lions a spark off the bench in the second half.
Taking their first lead since being up 6-4, another jumper by Rice gave the Lions the lead 46-44. A three pointer and a pair of free throws from tenBerge gave the Lions their biggest lead of the afternoon as they took a 51-44 lead with just under seven minutes to play. Unfortunately from that point, Livin the Dream took over closing the game on a 21-7 run. A layup by the Dream's Dena Williams with a 1:29 remaining put the Dream up 59-54 as the Lions weren't able to get any closer.
The Lions went 22-of-56 from the field on the afternoon, hitting five three-pointers, including three from Hartzog. Hoping to bring more size to the Lions this year, the Lions two transfer junior fowards Shonte Clay and Dominique Mosley had nice debuts. Clay, a University of Minnesota transfer, finished her Lion debut with six points and seven rebounds in a team-high 28 minutes, while Mosley, a junior college transfer, finished with six points and six rebounds.
The Lions continue exhibition play Friday evening when they travel to Division I University of San Francisco to battle the Dons in War Memorial Gym at 9 p.m.