Drury’s defense dominated in the first half as the Lady Panthers made a statement heading into the Midwest Region Championship Game with a 78-56 win over Northern Michigan.
Drury’s swarming defense in the first half caused Northern Michigan to commit a significant 23 turnovers; a total more than one per minute of game time. Those turnovers led directly to 39 of Drury’s 47 first half points.
Drury lead 47-15 at the half.
“You saw Drury defense,” head coach Molly Miller told reporters after the game. “That’s what’s going to carry us game in and game out.”
Hailey Diestelkamp lead the Lady Panthers with 16 points while Paige Robinson and Emily Parker added 13 points. Parker and Robinson were back after a one-game suspension imposed by the GLVC.
Parker told reporters after the game that the team fed off each other with the turnovers in the first half and that lead to the team being even stronger on defense.
“We feed off each other,” Parker said. “You see Daejah get a steal and you’re like ‘I want to get one next’. Then Hailey gets one and you’re like ‘well, I still don’t have one!’ We just feed off each other and it just lights a fire.”
The Lady Panthers will face Grand Valley State for the Regional title on Monday night at 7 p.m. at the O’Reilly Family Events Center. Winner of the game will advance to the Women’s Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio on March 26-29.