Women's basketball falls at Drury 75-54 in season opener

Springfield, Mo. - The Missouri Southern women's basketball team fell 75-54 at Drury tonight in their season opener at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.

The Lions (0-1) were led offensively by senior center Shonte Clay who came off the bench to finish with 14 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Nicole Hartzog added 14 points while senior forward Dominique Mosley chipped in eight. Sophomore guard Sharese Jones grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds while adding four points.

Drury (1-0) was led in scoring by Sanayika Shields who finished with 13 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Shelby White added 12 points and Lauren McCurry chipped in 11 points off the bench.

Southern jumped out to an early 7-4 lead thanks to five early points from Hartzog along with a layup from Shawnee Phillips. After five quick points from Drury, the Lions got buckets from Clay and Alexis Fitzpatrick to tie the game at 11 apiece. The Lady Panthers proceeded to go on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 21-11 lead before a Samantha Soyez drive to the basket ended the run. After four quick points from DU, the Lions responded with layup from Hartzog and a three-pointer from Phillips cut the lead to seven (25-18). A 9-2 run by the Lady Panthers extended their lead to 14 (34-20), but a pair of free throws from Jones and a free throw from Soyez ended the half as Drury took a 36-23 lead into halftime.

Hartzog led the Lions with nine points in the first half as Southern shot 9-33 (27.3%) from the field while outrebounding the Lady Panthers 22-20, including 10-5 offensively.

The Lions came out of the locker room fighting as Clay got an early layup to get the scoring going for Southern. Unfortunately, Drury countered with a 12-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 48-25 with 15:57 to play in the second half. Taking after their new coach Ronda Hubbard's fiery personality, Southern did not go down without a fight as Mosley came into the game and scored four quick points after not scoring in the first half. Chipping away, Southern cut the Lady Panthers lead to as low as 12 (63-51) after a pair of free throws from Clay, but were unable to get any closer as they fell by a final score of 75-54.

Southern shot 19-58 (32.8%) from the field, 10-25 (40%) from three-point range and 13-16 (81.3%) from the free-throw line in the game.

The Lions return to action next Saturday hosting Southwestern Oklahoma State in their home opener at 1 p.m. at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.