Joplin, Mo. - Behind a career-high 26 points from Nicole Hartzog, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team shot a season-best 64.8% from the field in a 86-62 romp this afternoon at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center over the visiting Lincoln Blue Tigers.
Finishing 12-of-15 from the field, the junior guard from Beaverton, Ore., also recorded a career-best seven steals. The Lions' (12-3, 6-2 MIAA) also had two other players finish with double figures as Sharese Jones finished with 18 points and seven rebounds shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the field. Shonte Clay chipped in 16 points, her third consecutive game in double figures, and grabbed seven boards. In her seventh game back from injury, senior guard Tee Singleton scored a season-high nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
The Blue Tigers (3-12, 0-8) were led by Jennifer Rosado who finished with a game-high 26 points while hitting 16-of-18 from the free throw line. Hunter Yoakum added 13 on 5-of-13 shooting.
After falling behind 11-4 after the first three minutes of play, the Lions responded with a 12-0 run to take a 16-11 lead, one that they would not relinquish the remainder of the game. That run featured four points from Hartzog on a pair of layups as Clay, Jones and Dominique Mosley also got in on the scoring action. After a Blue Tigers layup cut Southern's lead to five at 24-19 with 9:36 to play in first half, the Lions went on a 23-4 run over the ensuing 5:25 to take a commanding 47-23 lead shooting 9-of-10 from the field in that stretch. Unfortunately, the Blue Tigers had an answer for the Lions surge with one of their own as they ended on the half on a 12-0 run to climb back into the game as Southern headed to the locker room up 47-35.
After shooting a season-best 69.2% in the first half hitting 18-of-26 shooting from the field, Southern continued their stellar afternoon looked to get separation from the Blue Tigers in the second half as they opened up a 20-point lead after the first eight minutes at 67-47. The Lions continued to keep the pressure on Lincoln as they held at least a 16-point lead the remainder of the game winning by a final of 86-62. Southern matched their great shooting in the first half in the final twenty minutes as they went 17-of-28 (60.7%) from the field.
Continuing a growing trend this season, Southern improved to 11-2 on the year when they outrebound their opponent as they held a 31-24 edge in boards and improve to 11-0 when they have more assists as they held a 16-5 advantage in that department as well. Finally, Southern held a distinct advantage in points in the paint outscoring the Blue Tigers 52-24.
The Lions head out on the road next traveling to Northwest Missouri (5-11, 2-7) to face the Bearcats at Bearcat Arena on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.