Lions knock down No. 2 Washburn

Senior forward Vonny Wilson moves the ball down the court.

Senior forward Vonny Wilson moves the ball down the court.

Playing against the Lady Blues on Jan. 22, the Lions were able to defeat Washburn University with a score of 53-50.

“I thought it was a great basketball game,” said Maryann Mitts, head women’s basketball coach. “It paired the top two defensive teams in conference.”

The Lions ended the first half with six points behind the Lady Blues at 27-23. Vonny Wilson, senior forward, was leading scorer in the first half for the Lions with 11 points. Aubrie Hallman, senior guard, came away with five points scored.

But with strong defense the Southern stepped it up during second half going head-to-head with WU.

The Lions and the Lady Blues were tied at six times during in the game.

Wilson, with a three-point shot in the second half, gave the Lions a needed lead that would later win the game.

“The score indicated that the game was defensive,” Mitts said, “To beat the No. 2 team in the nation was huge victory for our team and should build a lot of confidence in our players.”

With 52 seconds left in the second half and the Lions leading at 51-50, Southern was faced with a five-second violation, which could have cost the Lions the game.

“We keyed a five second violation that could have turned things in Washburn favor,” Mitts said.

Hallman was the leading scorer for the game as a whole with 17 points, scoring 90% of her attempted free throws. Wilson had 16 points and Dacie Reutlinger, junior forward, finished with eight points for the game.

Reutlinger also finished with seven rebounds.

Southern had a total of 33 rebounds while WU had 34 total rebounds.

On Jan. 26, Southern took on the University of Missouri-Rolla Lady Miners, winning with a 56-52 victory.

They will compete against the Truman State University Lady Bulldogs at 1:30 p.m., Saturday in Kirksville.

“One of the biggest challenges is our mentality,” Mitts said, “I think it truly takes a very mature group of players to go on the road twice this week and play against the two worst teams in conference. We cannot have a let down.”