by Ed Beach
The Drury Lady Panthers completed their trip to Southern California by winning their third game in three days with a 78-55 victory over Montana State-Billings in Orange, Calfornia on Sunday. The game marked the final day of the CCA Division II Tipoff Classic. The Lady Panthers ended the event with a 3-0 record while the MSU-Billings, an Elite Eight team two years ago, fell to 0-3.
Drury pulled away in the second quarter as they held the Yellowjackets to only one made field goal in the period and outscored them 21-8 in that span to take a 42-26 lead at halftime. The Lady Panthers led by as much as 28 in the second half.
“We had a good team defensive effort,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “We had a good burst of energy in the second and third quarters, and I think our pressure wore them down.”
Paige Robinson led Drury with 15 points while Emily Parker had 12, and Kelsey Winfrey added 11. Daejah Bernard had eight assists to move into second-place all-time at Drury in that category, and Hailey Diestelkamp added a game-high nine rebounds.
Hannah Collins led MSU-Billings with 11 points.
Drury shot 41 percent for the game, hitting 27 of their 66 shots while holding the Yellowjackets to 35 percent shooting (17 for 48). The Lady Panthers owned an advantage on the boards out-rebounding MSU-Billings 42-32, and Drury forced the Yellowjackets into 26 turnovers.
“This event has given us a chance to see what we need to tweak some things a little earlier than usual,” said Miller. “We have a long way to go, but I like where we’re at and what we need to work on.”
The Lady Panthers are now idle until Nov. 11 when they host Minnesota-Duluth for a 5:30 pm game in the O’Reilly Family Event Center.