Lady Panthers use late surge to win again

KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Drury Lady Panthers shook off a pesky Rockhurst team for a 76-64 win on Saturday in Mason-Halpin Fieldhouse in Kansas City, Missouri.

The win kept Drury’s record a perfect 5-0 and was their 37th straight win dating back through last year. The Hawks, who were coming off of a 67-64 exhibition win over NCAA-I Kansas City on Sunday, fell to 3-2.

Rockhurst used a 9-0 run to take a 46-44 lead over the Lady Panthers with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter. The Lady Panthers tied the game moments later with a basket from Azia Lynch, and Kelsey Winfrey gave Drury back the lead, 48-46, hitting two free throws with less than a second left the quarter.

The Lady Panthers built a nine-point lead in the fourth, only to have Rockhurst fight back and tie the game at 60-60 with 4:49 remaining.

Emily Parker put Drury back in front with a pair of free throws, and the Lady Panthers took over down the stretch outscoring the Hawks 16-4 the rest of the way.

Lynch finished with a game-high 19 points. Paige Robinson added 18 points, while Parker and Winfrey added 13 points each. 11 of Winfrey’s 13 points came in the fourth period.

“Rockhurst gave us a really good battle today,” said Drury head coach Amy Eagan. “I told our team in the locker room afterward that sometimes very good teams have tough days. I was proud of the way we stayed the course and found a way at the end.

“I thought when we were able to put together a run, we’d relax a bit defensively. We’ve got to get better in our half-court defense and learn that, when we get up on a team, we’ve got to bury them.”

The Hawks outshot from the field Drury hitting 44 percent of their shots, going 26 for 59, while the Lady Panthers went 23 for 58 from the floor. Rockhurst also went 7 for 18 from three-point range while Drury went just 5 for 19 from long-range.

The difference came from the free-throw line, where the Lady Panthers sank 25 of 27 attempts. Rockhurst was just 5 for 9 from the foul stripe.

Daly Sullivan led the Hawks with 16 points, while Molly Hummel added 15.

The win was not only Drury’s 37th straight win but also their 71st straight regular season victory and their 27th consecutive victory on the road. It also marked the team’s 39th win in a row over Rockhurst, a streak dating back to 2001.

The Lady Panthers play again on Friday, Dec. 18, when they host Missouri S&T for a 5:30 pm game at the O’Reilly Family Event Center./