JOPLIN -- The Missouri Southern Lions (4-3, 0-1 MIAA) dropped their MIAA Season opener to Truman State University (6-0, 1-0 MIAA), 63-55, Wednesday night in Joplin.
The Lions were led by junior forward Erin Rice as she scored 22 points while junior guard Tatianna Washington added 13 for Southern. The Lions' leading rebounders were sophomore guard Shatara Stone with nine and junior guard Dysyan Malone with four.
The Lions came out came out tough as they hung with undefeated Truman State for the first nine minutes with three ties and six lead changes before a jumper by Washington gave the Lions the lead for the remaining of the first half at the 8:23 mark. Missouri Southern would then extend their lead to seven, the largest of the game for the Lions, at the 2:18 mark, on an old-fashioned three point play by Rice.
Truman came out at halftime and chipped away at the Lions' lead and finally took over the game at the 10:16 mark in the second stanza on a three pointer from Allie Norton.
Southern would get the score close twice in the closing minutes as they pulled within one at the 4:54 mark on a three pointer from Rice and within two points at the 2:47 mark on a pair of free throws by Washington.
Truman was led by Becka McHenry with 22 points and Allie Norton with 16. The Bulldogs' leading rebounders were Jennifer Conway and McHenry, each with seven.
Southern will be back in MIAA action on Saturday as they travel to Warrensburg, Missouri to take on the 25th ranked Central Missouri Jennies in a 1:30 pm tilt.