Missouri Western presents Lions a rebound opportunity

Missouri Southern’s women’s basketball team was back in action last Saturday against the Jennies of Central Missouri. This was the second meeting in a row for the Lions against the Jennies, following a home win against the Jennies on Jan. 31 inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The Lions (14-6, 8-5 MIAA), who haven’t played since then, were the visiting team.

With a win, the Jennies would trail the Lions only by a half a game in the MIAA standings.

In the first half, the Lions would trail by as many as 12 as the Jennies led 19-7 with 8:36 left to play in the half. The Lions went on an 8-0 run with 6:30 left, to cut the lead to four. The Jennies fired back with a 6-0 run to close the first half and regained their 10-point lead, 25-15, into the locker room.

For the half, Southern shot 17.9 percent, 5-of-28, from the field and 0-5 from three point range. UCM out-rebounded the Lions 23-20 in the first half.

Down 10, the Lions roared out the gates for the second half, going on a 13-4 run to trim the lead down to one at 29-28 with just under 15 minutes to go. The score was 33-30 Jennies at the 12:53 mark. The Jennies then caught fire as the Lions hit rock bottom. The Jennies pushed their lead to 21 (51-30) as the Lions went on a nearly seven minute stretch without scoring a basket. Nic Hartzog finally ended the 18-0 run with a free throw at the 6:05 mark, 51-31.

For the remainder of the half, the Lions would outscore the Jennies by seven, cutting the lead down to 11. It wasn’t enough, and the Lions fell to the Jennies 61-48.

The Lions were led by Sharese Jones and Hartzog, who each scored 10 points. Camila Lacerda added eight and Phillips scored six. Jones narrowly missed her seventh double-double of the season as she came away with a team-high nine rebounds, with Jordan Dinyer pulling down seven.

“UCM played a very physical game with us and I felt like we backed down from that,” said head coach Ronda Hubbard. “Our players’ mentality on the road has to improve. We need to develop a stronger mental toughness about us.”

The Lions are back in action tomorrow as they host Missouri Western State. The Lions will be looking to avenge a road loss they suffered to Mo. West earlier this season. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.