by Drury Athletics
The number one ranked Drury Lady Panthers continued their assault on a potential undefeated regular season as they throttled the Hawks of Rockhurst 90-67 on Thursday night at the O’Reilly Family Event Center upping their season mark to 27-0 and 17-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
An impressive start by the Lady Panthers set the tone for the contest as they hit on 10 of their first 11 shot attempts and pulled away from the Hawks early owning a 35-15 cushion after one quarter. Their dominance continued into the second period as they outscored the visitors 18-2 to open the quarter and held a commanding 58-25 lead at halftime recording 20 assists on 23 made shots while forcing Rockhurst into 22 turnovers in the half.
“It’s nice to be back in the O’ where we’re so comfortable and confident and quick starts are the norm for us,” said Molly Miller, Drury head coach. “I thought we came out with really good energy.”
Freshman Paige Robinson paced the Drury scoring attack finishing with 21; junior Hailey Diestelkamp had 20, sophomore Payton Richards added 12, with sophomore Emily Parker contributing 10 for the Lady Panthers. Madeline Ronshausen topped the scoring for the Hawks (9-16, 5-12) totaling a team-best 19.
After the hot shooting to open the game, Drury cooled off after intermission and finished shooting 47 percent on 34 of 73 shots, while Rockhurst closed at 45 percent, making 24 of 53. Drury won the rebounding battle 40-37 and forced the Hawks into 30 turnovers.
Junior guard Daejah Bernard established a Drury single-season mark for assists in the game finishing with eight, and for the season has 171 assists besting the previous single-season mark of 167 set by Ja’Nell Jones during the 2009-10 campaign. Diestelkamp with a team-high eight rebounds and moved into third place all-time in that category now with 792 boards, one short of second place and just twenty behind the career-best mark of 812 posted by Melanie Oliver (2007-2010).
“It’s impressive that this team wants to get everyone involved and that assist record is now Daejah’s for a single season. I mean eight assists and zero turnovers is a pretty good stat line for the night,” added Miller.
With the victory, Drury now owns a 36-1 lead in the series with Rockhurst.
The Lady Panthers will close out the 2018-19 regular season when they host William Jewell in a 1 pm game Saturday, March 2 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.