Women’s basketball on track to better last season

The Missouri Southern Lions women’s basketball team beat the Evangel University Crusaders 66-58 on November 24 and went on to defeat the Drury University Lady Panthers 62-59 for their 6th win of the season. The team is now 6-1 in regular season.

The Lions led 14-12 with 8 minutes remaining in the first half of the game when Erin Rice, senior forward, scored on a tree-pointer and lay-up that pushed the teams lead to seven against the Crusaders.

A lay-up from Kristen Hannah, freshman forward, put the lions at a 37-30 point lead at half-time.

“We didn’t play a very great first half against Evangel but we came out in the second half,” Erin Rice, senior forward said.

Shonte Clay, junior center, scored the first basket of the second half of the game.

Both teams scored back and forth until with two minutes remaining on the clock, Clay scored on a layup to lead the team 64-57.

The Lion’s sealed the win after with two free throws by Samantha Sovez, junior guard.

The team  was down 32-24 in the fist half of their game against Drury. Coming back from the locker room, the Lady Panthers continued to score against the Lions.

The team tightened up their defense and went on a 13-0 run over the next four and half minutes to close the gap to within a point.

“Drury is a great team and going in we knew it would be a fight,” Rice said.

“With 9 minutes left on the clock we pulled it out and it was really something special.”

With each team trading a pair of free throws to keep the score tied at 59 apiece, a five-foot jumper from Rice with a minute remaining sealed the game for the Lions.

“Pulling a team together of people who don’t know each other can be good or bad. In our case, this year it has been really good,” Rice said.

Recovering from a devastating  season last year — only eight wins — the women are hopeful and determined to do well this season.

“We have a great opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong and be in the top three of the MIAA and go to the NCAA tournament,” Rice said.