JOPLIN – Closing out the December portion of the 2021-22 women’s basketball schedule on Saturday, the Missouri Southern Lions came away victorious by a score of 103-58 against the visiting Lincoln Blue Tigers inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The Lions (7-3, 4-1 MIAA) had six in double figures scoring and seven collect at least five rebounds tonight. Junior forward Amaya Johns led all scorers with 16 points going 6-of-12 from the field, 4-of-4 from free throws while collecting seven rebounds and dishing out a career-high three assists. Sophomore center Madi Stokes collected her first double-double of the season and 10th of her career finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
Redshirt guard/forward Hailey Grant finished with a career-high 14 points going 5-of-10 from the field, 2-of-2 from three while collecting seven rebounds. Graduate guard Brooke Stauffer had a season-high 13 points going 5-of-7 from the field and hauled in five rebounds. Sophomore guard Cameron Call had 12 points going 4-of-7 from three and redshirt freshman guard Kaitlin Hunnicutt added 10 points going 3-of-4 from three and pulled down a career-high seven rebounds.
Junior guard/forward Layne Skiles had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists a season-high, and eclipsed 100 career assists in the game becoming the 53rd Lion since the 1983-84 season to accomplish such feat. True freshman guard Lacy Stokes came away with six points, rebounds, assists, and steals become the first Lion since Nicole Hartzog on Jan. 15, 2015 at Lindenwood to have six steals in a game.
For the Blue Tigers (4-7, 0-5 MIAA) Ayreona Carter led the way with 14 points, AJ Bradley was the other to finish in double figures with 10 points. Mercy Gonzalez and Imani Jones had five rebounds each for the team-high while Haylie Holloway had two assists to lead Lincoln.
Missouri Southern began the game on a 6-0 run before the Blue Tigers responded with a layup at 8:07. The Lions followed that make with a 7-0 run capped off by a Skiles layup with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter. Following the second made basket for Lincoln, the Lions put together a 17-3 run over four minutes that was capped off by back-to-back Call three’s from true freshman guard Mia Topping, making it 30-7 with 2:18 and the Lions first quarter scoring 30+ since hosting Rogers State Dec. 5, 2020.
The opening of the second quarter was much the same for the Lions coming out to a 11-2 run capped by a Johns layup assisted by Lacy Stokes making it 43-15 with 6:09 left in the first half. Hunniuctt finished off the scoring in the half with a three assisted by Johns with 56 seconds remaining, putting the Lions ahead 51-25 at the half. The first half that the Lions scored 50 points in since the Rogers State game as well.
The Lions came out of the intermission on a 7-3 run with Johns making both free throws with 7:32 left to push the lead to 58-28. Following a made layup from the Blue Tigers, Missouri Southern went on a 11-2 run making it 69-30 with 4:09 left in the third quarter following a made Grant pull up three. True freshman guard Mia Topping and Brittney Flexer connected to beat the third quarter buzzer with Topping hitting a pull up three, making it 82-41 headed to the fourth quarter.
A fast start in the fourth quarter happened again for the Lions as they began the quarter on a 11-3 run making it 93-44 with 7:03 left in regulation. The biggest lead of the game happened in the middle of that run as the Lions went ahead 90-41 with 8:02 left for a 49-point lead.
Missouri Southern put the finishing touches on the win and tied a school record for made three’s in a game as a team with the 14th coming from true freshman guard Maleigha Landers with 2:48 left in the game. The attempt by Landers also tied the attempts by a team record set on Jan. 25, 2003 at Truman State with 34 attempts.
Southern went over the 100-point plateau was reserved for Grant making a free throw to put it at 100-53 while Madi Stokes finished the win with a layup from a Landers’ feed with 1:01 left. Following a pair of Blue Tigers free throws with under a minute left the final score was cemented at 103-58.
This was the second 100+ point game for head coach Ronnie Ressel with the other coming on Dec. 3h, 2017 as the Lions hosted and beat Graceland 100-44. The 103 points scored tonight is also the most by the Lions since beating Ozark Christian 104-28 on Dec. 6, 2005 inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern goes into the break at 7-3 overall. This is the second time under Ronnie Ressel that the Lions have that record in the first 10 games of a season doing so in the 2018-19 season.
Up next for the Lions is a 13 day break before traveling to Maryville, Mo. to face off with a Northwest Missouri team that is 9-2, 4-1 MIAA as of today. Tip-off from Bearcat Arena is set for 1:30 p.m. on January 1, 2022.