by Drury Athletics
The second-ranked Drury Lady Panthers forced 35 turnovers against McKendree on their way to a 72-55 win in Lebanon, Illinois on Thursday night.
The win kept Drury’s record perfect as they improved to 16-0 and 6-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Bearcats dropped to 8-7 and 2-4 in the league.
Freshman Paige Robinson led the Panthers with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five steals as the Bethany, Illinois native played her first collegiate game in her home state. Hailey Diestelkamp, the reigning GLVC and NCAA-II Player of the Week, had 13 points, eight rebounds and four steals playing in 24 minutes of playing time.
“McKendree plays really hard, and they’ve continually improved under head coach Kari Kerkhoff, so I’m proud of how our kids came in focused and ready to play,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller.
The Lady Panthers shot 39 percent from the field and connected only 3 of their 23 three-point attempts but limited McKendree to just 47 shot attempts and 38 percent shooting from the floor. Drury owned a 42-36 rebounding advantage and outscored McKendree 31-8 in points-off-turnovers. The Lady Panthers led by as much as 28 points as they ended the third quarter with a 62-34 lead.
“(Forcing) 35 turnovers was our goal,” said Miller. “We didn’t win this game with our shooting; we needed extra possessions tonight.”
Jordan Hedberg led the Bearcats with 13 points.
The Lady Panthers were without starting forward Emily Parker who missed Thursday’s game with an illness.
Drury continues their road trip on Saturday when they travel to the University of Illinois Springfield for a 1 p.m. game.