Bench contributes 53 points to win versus rivals

Nicole Greninger, senior guard, holds off a PSU player while looking for an open teammate during the Del Rio Bordertown Batte Feb. 15.

Nicole Greninger, senior guard, holds off a PSU player while looking for an open teammate during the Del Rio Bordertown Batte Feb. 15.

Sweeping the Gorillas for the season, the Missouri Southern women’s basketball team won the Del Rio Bordertown Battle.

Leggett & Platt Athletic Center hosted the rivalry Feb. 15. when the Lions beat Pittsburg State University 87-44. Southern out-shot the Gorillas from the field 53.1 percent to 27.9 percent.

Southern started the game on a 7-0 run and would not let go of the lead once.

Marina Caran, junior guard, led the Lions’ scoring, adding 21, including four shots from three-point range.

“I thought that was the most focused that Marina has been all year,” said Maryann Mitts, head women’s basketball coach.

Meghan Welch, freshman guard/forward, also hit four three pointers, adding to her 18 points for Southern.

Nacy Thornsberry, freshman guard/forward, put up 14 points. She hit two from beyond the arc against PSU.

“Really I have to thank my team for that, to get up by so much that I had a chance to go in and play well and actually do something,” Thornsberry said.

She also grabbed four rebounds in the game, second only to Nicole Greninger, senior guard, who had eight.

Mitts said Thornsberry, being a freshman, is one of those players who always does “all the dirty work” at practice, and rarely get rewarded.

“I’m pleased with her,” Mitts said.

Thornsberry, Caran and Welch’s combined efforts gave Southern’s bench 53 points.

“When we play together as a team and we bring that intensity, we’re capable of doing great things,” Mitts said.

Following them, Robin Kantin, junior guard, was next in scoring with 11 points. Greninger also put up 10 points for the Lions.

Helping out with scoring, Liz Burks, junior guard, had six assists for Southern.

Caran and Dana-Mae Robbs, junior forward, both had four steals against the Gorillas.

“That was a basketball game of 40 minutes that was pent-up frustration,” Mitts said. “It was ready to come out, and it just came out all in one night in 40 minutes of basketball.”

The Bordertown Battle win comes after three-straight losses for the Lions, the last of which was Feb. 11 against Northwest Missouri State University. The Bearcats handed the Lions a 70-67 loss in Maryville.

In that game, Dacie Reutlinger, senior forward, scored 21 points for the Lions. She was followed by Kantin with 16.

Greninger and Robbs were next with 11 and eight points, respectively.

Greninger put up three three-pointers for Southern in the loss.

In rebounding, Robbs led the Lions by grabbing nine, followed by Reutlinger with seven and Kantin who had six.

The Lions’ record is now 15-10 overall and 7-7 in the MIAA.

Two games remain in the regular season for Southern. Saturday, the Lions take on Truman State University at home.

This will be the final home game for Greninger and Reutlinger. Tip-off will be at 1 p.m.

Then Feb. 25, the Lions head to Emporia State University.