JOPLIN - Despite a strong start to the game, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team was unable to overcome a late first half run and red-hot shooting from behind the three-point line by Northeastern State falling to the RiverHawks 69-45 at home this afternoon at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Led by a career-high 14 points from Nicole Hartzog and a season-low nine turnovers, the Lions (10-7, 4-5 MIAA) got out to a 5-4 lead through the first five minutes of play thanks to five early points from Erin Rice. With three more Lions scoring baskets over the next six minutes, the Lions and RiverHawks were tied at 11 apiece with 8:31 remaining. The RiverHawks (13-5, 8-2) would respond with a 21-5 run over the final eight minutes of the half, including three three-pointers, to take a 32-16 lead into the halftime break.
The RiverHawks hot shooting from behind the arc would continue in the second half as they hit three three-pointers in the first six minutes of play to extend their lead to 23 (47-24). The Lions would try to fight back going on a 12-6 run over then next six minutes to cut the lead to 17 (53-36) thanks to baskets from Dominique Mosley, Rice, and Tee Singleton and three-pointers from Hartzog and Johnna tenBerge, but that would be as close as the Lions would get the rest of the game.
Making a season-low 17 field goals, the Lions shot 17-of-55 (.309) from the field on the afternoon, while only getting to the foul line a season-low five times. The RiverHawks would find much greater success from the field hitting 27-of-48 (.563), a season-high for a Lions opponent. The RiverHawks also notched a Lions' opponent season-best hitting 12-of-25 (.480) from behind the three-point line, including going 7-of-9 in the second half.
The RiverHawks were led in scoring by Taylor Lewis and Tosha Tyler, who eached finished the game with 14 points.
Southern returns to action Thursday evening when they travel to Topeka, Kan. to take on the #14th ranked Washburn Ichabods at 5:30 p.m. at Lee Arena.