JOPLIN - Hanging right with #10 Central Missouri all evening long, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team battled hard before falling to the Jennies 74-63 tonight at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Outscoring their opponent's bench in every game but two this season, the Lions (11-10, 5-8) would get another outstanding performance from their bench outscoring the Jennies 41-13 on the night. The Lions were led by off the bench with 14 points from Erin Rice on 6-12 shooting and 13 points from Dominique Mosley. Mosley would also add a team-high seven rebounds, while Johnna tenBerge would chip in nine points on 3-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Jennies (19-2, 11-2) were led in scoring by their top two scorers in BreAnna Lewis and Keuna Flax who would finish the night with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Lewis would drill 6-13 from beyond the arc, while Flax was 6-9 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line.
With the Jennies jumping out to an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes, the Lions would respond with a 14-7 run to close the gap to within one (18-17) halfway through the first half. The Jennies would respond with two quick three-pointers to open the gap back up to seven, a margin they would take into the locker room at halftime going up 36-29 at the break. The Lions would shoot 13-28 (.464) from the field in the first half getting contributions from seven Lions, including ten from Rice.
The Lions would begin the second half on an offensive tear going on a 7-0 run in the first two minutes out of the break to tie the game up at 36 apiece. Trading baskets with the Jennies, the Lions would take their first lead of the night when tenBerge would nail a three-pointer to give the Lions a 41-38 lead. Trading punches, the Jennies would regain the lead on a Flax jumper (46-45) with 13:22 remaining.
The Lions would keep the game close staying within four over the next four minutes thanks to free throws from Mosley and Rice. A pair from the charity stripe from Mosley would close the gap to two (54-52), before Lewis would hit a pair of three-pointers to give the Jennies a six point lead (60-54). A pair of free throws from Jolee Sharp would draw the Lions back within four (60-56), but that would be as close as the Lions would get as Central Missouri closed the game on a 14-7 run to go home with the 11 point win.
Both teams would shoot an identical 23-55 (.418) from the field while both would grab 35 rebounds on the night. The Lions would be undone though behind the three-point line as the Jennies' would hit 10 three-point field goals, while the Lions could only connect on three.
The Lions return to action on Wednesday night hitting the road for Northeastern State (16-6, 11-3) as they take on the RiverHawks at 5:30 p.m. at Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse.