No. 1 Drury overcomes late deficit for 82-74 win

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Trailing 69-67 at Bellarmine, the number one ranked Drury Lady Panthers put together a 15-5 burst in the game’s final three minutes to keep their record perfect earning an 82-74 win over the Knights on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Drury improved to 19-0 and 10-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while Bellarmine dropped to 10-7 and 5-5 in the league.

Hailey Diestelkamp scored eight of Drury’s points in the 15-5 run including a three-point basket that gave the Lady Panthers a 73-69 lead with 1:30 remaining.

Diestelkamp finished the game with 37 points, matching a season-high, and added 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Paige Robinson contributed 20 points for the Lady Panthers while Daejah Bernard had seven points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

“Bellarmine played great today and made a lot shots but, we have kids that just refuse to lose,” said Drury assistant coach Amy Eagan. Eagan led the team on Saturday as head coach Molly Miller re-joined the team after giving birth to her second child Thursday night, but let her assistants handle most of the coaching duties. “We had to grind it out, but I’m proud of the way they came out and were able to finish it.”

Saturday’s game marked just the third time this season the Lady Panthers have trailed in the fourth quarter and the first time since Nov. 29 when Central Missouri had a late lead at Drury. Bellarmine led by nine, 30-21, early in the second period, but Drury fought back to tie the game at 40-40 by halftime.

The Knights shot 59 percent from field hitting 30 of 51 shots, but the Lady Panthers, who connected on only 39 percent of their field goals, owned a 44-27 rebounding advantage and grabbed 24 offensive boards. Drury’s work on the glass gave them a 17-3 advantage in second-chance points.

“One of our big keys today was rebounding,” said Eagan. “One of the things I thought we did really well was to go out of our area to get a board. When a shot went up, we were just determined to make it ours.”

Breia Torrens and 29 points to lead Bellarmine. She went 10 for 19 from the field, 6 for 13 from three-point range and had 18 points by halftime.

The win came at the site of Drury’s last regular season loss, Jan. 18, 2018, and gave the Lady Panthers their 56th straight regular season victory and their 47th consecutive victory in the GLVC.  

Drury returns home to play Missouri S&T for a 5:45 pm game on Thursday at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

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