JOPLIN - The Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team defeated the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 64-55 tonight at the Legett & Platt Athletic Center.
Behind a career-high 13 points from guard Tee Singleton, and three other Lions (7-3, 1-1 MIAA) in double figures with 10 points, Southern overcame a three-point halftime defecit to secure its first MIAA conference victory of the year. Senior forward Erin Rice and junior guards Shatara Stone and Jolee Sharp each finished with 10 points on the night.
Northwest Missouri State (8-3, 2-1) was lead on the evening in scoring by guard Ashleigh Nelson with 12 points while guard Tember Schechinger and forward Maggie Marnin finished with nine points each.
With the Lions jumping out to an early 5-2 lead in the first three minutes of play the Bearcats responded with a 17-8 run over the next nine minutes to take its largest lead of the game at six (19-13). Southern would respond with a 9-3 run over the next three minutes, including a pair of layups from Shonte Clay, to even the game at 22-22 with 5:11 remaining in the first half. From that point on, both teams went cold from the field as neither the Lions or Bearcats made a field goal the rest of the half. The Bearcats would double up the Lions from the free throw line 6-3 to take a 28-25 lead into halftime.
With the Bearcats unwilling to relinquish the lead through the first nine minutes of the second half, the Lions were able to overtake the lead once and for all on a layup by Clay at the 9:58 mark that gave the Lions a 45-42 lead. Finishing the game on a 19-13 run that included seven free throws from Stone and a timely three-pointer from sophomore guard Nicole Hartzog, the Lions were able to take advantage of their size to outrebound the Bearcats 44-23. Despite a season-high 26 turnovers, the Lions were able to force 16 turnovers on the Bearcats that they turned into 19 points.
The Lions return to MIAA action Saturday evening when they host Missouri Western (9-2, 2-1) at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.