Ed Beach, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
ORANGE, Calif.— The top-ranked Drury Lady Panthers started their season with a 78-60 win over Simon Fraser in the CCA Division II Tipoff Classic in Orange, California, on Friday.
Paige Robinson hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the first quarter to give the Lady Panthers a 20-14 lead, then Drury used a 13-0 run the second period to pull away from Simon Fraser and take a 45-24 advantage at halftime.
Drury forward Emily Parker came off the bench to score 15 points while Hailey Diestelkamp and Robinson both ended the game with 13. Lauren Holmes had nine points, eight rebounds, and four steals for the Lady Panthers.
Drury forced 36 turnovers and ended the game with 21 steals. Their defense helped compensate for a day that saw the Lady Panthers shoot 44 percent from the field going 32 for 72, including 5 for 23 from three-point range, and they were just 9 for 20 from the free-throw line.
“We’ve got some kinks to work out, but overall, I was pleased with our effort,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “We were playing with some different line-ups, and we needed to spread the minutes with playing three games in three days. The important thing that we learned from this game was that our hustle, defensive effort, and our energy is what’s going to carry us as we move forward.”
Claudia Hart led the Simon Fraser with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The Clan shot 51 percent from the floor going 24 for 47 but went just 5-for-21 from three-point range and 7 for 12 from the foul line.
Friday’s game was the season-opener for both teams.
Drury’s win marked the ninth straight season have they opened the season with a win and was their 40th consecutive win in the regular season dating back to Jan. 18, 2018.
The Lady Panthers return to action on the second day of the event on Saturday in a game against 12th ranked West Texas A&M. Tipoff is 12:45 pm (Central) in Orange, California.