Shorthanded Drury Still Dominates Kentucky Wesleyan in NCAA DII Tournament

They were down two players.

Their best shooter missed much of the first half with foul trouble.

The Drury Lady Panthers still steamrolled Kentucky Wesleyan 88-57 in the first round of the NCAA Division-II Midwest Regional at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

The Panthers, without Paige Robinson and Emily Parker because of a GLVC decision to suspend them for the NCAA tournament game rather than a GLVC game next season, lead Kentucky Wesleyan by over 40 points in the second half before coach Molly Miller pulled many of the starters and allowed their opponent to close to the 31 point loss.

Hailey Diestelkamp turned in a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Azia Lynch turned in 20 points coming off the bench to help the Lady Panthers dominate the game. Three other Lady Panthers reached double figures: Lucia Fernandez with 13, Brooke Stanfield and Payton Richards both added 10 points.

Drury coach Miller spoke of the message the win sends about the team’s depth.

“When you’re playing so many games in so few days I think depth is key,” Miller said. “I was happy we made a statement that our depth is good. Our reserves were coming out there, not shying away from anything.”

“The thing with us is that we’re kind of positionless,” Miller continued. “So I can work who I need in, when I need, where I need and not worry ‘well, can she play point, can she play off-guard?’ That kind of works into our offensive system too.”

The Lady Panthers play Saturday night in the regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.