by Drury Athletics
The second-ranked Drury Lady Panthers had a 15-0 run in the first quarter and put together an 18-0 run in the second period on their way to dominating Illinois Springfield 97-58 in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
Drury owned a 45-19 lead at halftime and continued to build on that margin in the second half to win by 39. The Lady Panthers kept their record perfect going to 17-0 and 7-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Prairie Stars dropped to 5-10, and 2-5 in the league.
Lady Panthers freshman guard Paige Robinson led her team with a career-high 26 points as the Bethany, Illinois native went 9 for 15 from the field and 5 for 9 from three-point range. Hailey Diestelkamp added 17 points and eight rebounds while Daejah Bernard chipped in 10 points, eight steals, and six assists.
“It was a good homecoming for Paige,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller regarding her freshman guard playing near her hometown for the first time as a collegiate player. “She’s playing in rhythm, she’s really hard to guard, and it was nice to see the ball go in her for her.”
The Lady Panthers forced Illinois Springfield into 36 turnovers and limited to Prairie Stars to 35 percent shooting as they went 16 for 46 from the field.
After shooting just 38 percent and going 3 for 23 from three-point range two nights earlier, Drury found their touch on Saturday connecting on 37 of 67 shots for 55 percent, and they hit 7 of their 13 attempts from behind the arc. The Lady Panthers, who lead all of NCAA-II in steals with nearly 17 per game, had 22 against the Prairie Stars.
“We talked about having a good second quarter and not having a let-down,” added Miller. “We’ve gotten off to fast starts, but then just traded baskets with teams. It was good to see us have that run in the second quarter and it was a good bounce-back game for us in terms of our shooting.”
The Lady Panthers topped 90 points for the sixth time this season, and it was Drury’s seventh win by 30 points or more this year.
The win was also the 130th career victory for head coach Molly Miller, who moved into second place at Drury in career coaching wins surpassing Steve Harold’s total of 129. Miller is 130-16 and in her fifth season guiding the Lady Panthers program. Harold was 129-52 in six years as Drury’s head coach from 2007-13. Nyla Milleson ranks first at Drury having gone 185-36 in her seven years as head coach.