SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— A hot shooting start carried the Drury Panthers to their fourth win in a row on Thursday night as they defeated the Maryville Saints 80-52 in Great Lakes Valley Conference action at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
The Panthers hit their first nine shots of the game to break in front of the Saints by 15 points early and finished the half shooting 63 percent on 17 of 27 shots to hold the advantage at halftime 41-25. Sophomore Conley Garrison had 13 of his game high 24 points to pace Drury in the opening twenty minutes of action.
“When you make shots it gives you energy – I mean have you ever seen a guy loaf on the way back after he makes as shot? I haven’t in my 39 years of coaching,” said Steve Hesser, Drury head coach.
Drury emerged from intermission to outscore the Saints 11-2 in the opening minutes and pushed their lead to 25 points at 52-27 and Maryville was unable to make a serious dent in the lead the remainder of the way.
“There’s definitely something better in our play lately,” added Hesser. “We’re more comfortable in our roles as a team, and our offense is improving with nine turnovers and 30 assists (tonight)…that’s pretty good.”
Junior Kamau Kinder added 14 points for the Panthers with seniors Andrew Ballock and John Williams adding 10 points each. Maryville (8-13, 3-9) was paced in scoring by Chaz Glotta who finished with 20.
Drury closed the night 34 of 55 for 61 percent shooting from the field and was credited with 30 team assists on those 34 made shots. They outrebounded the Saints 31-19 for the game and were victorious despite only a 3 for 3 night at the free throw line. Drury now owns a 16-1 overall series record against the Saints.
The Panthers are back in action, Saturday hosting Missouri-St. Louis in a scheduled 3 pm start for Overflow the O’ Day at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.