Steve Hesser Becomes Drury’s All-Time Winningest Coach

by Drury Athletics

The Drury Panthers used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to pull away from Missouri S&T and win their sixth straight game with a 63-53 victory at Gibson Arena in Rolla on Saturday.

The Panthers improved to 15-10 and 9-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while the Miners fell to 4-18 and 2-12 in the league.

Drury trailed 38-36 with 11:40 remaining but took the lead on an Allen Billinger three-pointer less than a minute later and were never behind again. Tyler Clanton’s lay-up with 6:31 left capped the run and put the Panthers in front by double-digits, 51-40.

“It was a gritty game and one I was concerned about,” said head coach Steve Hesser. “If you watch (Missouri S&T’s) games, you’ll see that they’re in every one of them. And it may not show in their record, but they compete for forty minutes. We struggled with our energy and the mental part of the game at times. But we got the ball to the rim in the second half, did some good things defensively, and that was the difference.”

The win was Hesser’s 317th as head coach at Drury moving him into the all-time lead in career coaching victories at DU. He passed A.L. Weiser, who put together a 316-256 record in 31 seasons coaching the Panthers from the 1926-27 season to the 1957-58 campaign. Coach Hesser is now 317-124 and is in his 15th year leading the program.

Clanton led three Drury players in double-figures on Saturday with 12 points. The senior from Ozark went 6 for 7 from the field and had five rebounds. Kamau Kinder had 11 points while Conley Garrison added 10 points and six assists.

The Panthers forced 18 turnovers from the Miners while committing only six. They held Missouri S&T to 41 percent shooting (20 for 49) and just 4 for 12 from three-point range. Drury hit 24 of their 55 shots for 44 percent and went 6 of 22 from behind the three-point arc.

Romain Louiserre led Missouri S&T with a game-high 13 points.

The Panthers return to the road on Thursday when they take on the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.