Lions warm up after early conference struggles


Molly Schons/The Chart

Junior guard Kenya Brown drives to the basket against Northwest Missouri State on Feb. 21 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The Lions got their 12th win by a slim 60-59 score.

Missouri Southern’s women’s basketball team was back on the road to take on conference opponents Lindenwood, Mo., and Lincoln University (Mo.) last week.

The Lions, coming off a win over Northeastern State to snap a four-game losing streak, were looking to build upon that win against a struggling Lindenwood team that had lost five of its last seven games.

The Lions roared out the gates to begin the first half with an early 17-7 lead. Lindenwood, a team that has a winning record (4-2) at home this season, wasn’t fazed and answered back with an 18-2 run that gave them a 25-29 lead. The Lions would respond with a 9-2 run to end the first half. The Lions led 32-30.

Even with the lead, the Lions shot only 28.6 percent in the half. Nic Hartzog led all scorers with 14 at the half.

The second half would prove to be the Sharese Jones and Hartzog show.

The Lions led by as many as 12 points, 49-37, in the second half.

Again, Lindenwood would answer back with a 13-2 run of its own.

The lead was now 53-50 for the Lions with 9:36 to go. At that point on, Hartzog would catch fire and score 14 of her 16 second-half points for the Lions. Jones scored 19 points in the second half as the Lions beat Lindenwood 79-70.

Hartzog and Jones combined to score 53 points in the winning effort. Hartzog would finish with a career high 30, while Jones would finish with 23. Hartzog also led in rebounding with six, while Jones, Jordan Dinyer, and Jolee Sharp all pulled down five each.

Up next was the Blue Tigers of Lincoln University. The first half was tit for tat as the score was all tied 29-29 going into the second half. The Lions would allow Lincoln to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field, while the Lions shot 39.3 percent.

The second half was a close one. The game was tied at 58-58 before Jones hit a layup, at the whistle, sending her to the free throw line to try to give the Lions a three-point lead with 13 seconds left. Jones was as cool as the other side of the pillow as she sank the free throw. The Lions would hold on to the lead and win the game 63-58.

Jones finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds. Dinyer and Tami Morice pulled down five boards as well.

The Lions, through five games, are 4-1 on the road.

“One thing we stress when on the road is play faster and stronger than our opponent,” said Jones.

Next up for the Lions is another MIAA road test against Missouri Western State on Saturday.