by Ed Beach
The number one ranked Drury Lady Panthers scored a program-record 116 points en route to a decisive 116-68 win over Missouri S&T Thursday night at the O’Reilly Family Event Center to stay unbeaten on the season at 20-0 and 11-0 in Great Lakes Valley Conference action.
With sophomore Paige Robinson hitting for a career-high 27 points, and yet another milestone mark for senior Hailey Diestelkamp on the night, the Lady Panthers took care of business early, in posting their highest-scoring effort of the season.
Robinson provided Drury ten of their first twelve points in pacing the offense, while Diestelkamp finished with five rebounds and became the first player in school history to record more than 1,000 rebounds in a career, now at 1,002.
“It’s good to see Paige confident and going out there and scoring the basketball,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “And when you have Paige and Payton (Richards), our two shooters both on fire, that’s a great combination.”
After leading 32-12 after the first period, the Lady Panthers finished with ten three-pointers in the opening half and forced 21 turnovers en route to a substantial 66-37 lead at intermission.
There was no let-up in the second half, as Drury closed the night with 35 forced turnovers against the Miners (7-11, 3-8), scoring 43 points off those miscues and scored an impressive sixty points in the paint.
“It’s hard to guard when you have shooters that you have to contend with, and then you’re one-on-one in the paint, and I thought we did that well tonight,” added Miller.
The Lady Panthers finished with four players in double figures as Diestelkamp closed with 14, while Richards and freshman Alana Findley contributed 12 and 11 respectively off the bench. Laura Rodriquez led the Miners in scoring, finishing with 17 points. Drury was 44 of 84 from the field for 52 percent shooting and outrebounded the Miners 42-35.
Drury’s single-game scoring record had stood for nearly 15 years. The Lady Panthers put up 114 points on Feb. 17, 2005, against Rockhurst in a 114-49 win over the Hawks.
The Lady Panthers continue their homestand on Saturday when they host Maryville in a 1 pm contest at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
(Headline photo by Drury student Savannah Jefferis-Henriques)