SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—The Drury Lady Panthers completed their second straight undefeated regular season in record-setting fashion on Saturday as Hailey Diestelkamp erupted for 53 points in a 118-70 win over Rockhurst at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
Drury, ranked number one in NCAA-II, will head to the postseason 29-0 and 20-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Hawks ended their year with a 10-18 record and a 4-16 mark in the GLVC.
“It’s hard to be at a loss for words, but this team has done that to me,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “Our fans came out in droves today because of how much these seniors and this team has meant to them. That’s what so special about the Drury family and this community.”
The Lady Panthers led 24-17 at the end of the first quarter, then Diestelkamp helped lead a 32-0 charge in the second quarter as Drury outscored Rockhurst 44-11 in the period and owned a 68-28 advantage at halftime. The senior from Owensville, Missouri, had 20 points in the second quarter alone and 29 points by halftime.
Diestelkamp, last year’s NCAA-II Player of the Year, continued the onslaught in the second half with and tied the program’s single-game scoring mark, a record she set two weeks earlier at William Jewell, with her 43rd point coming with 3:23 left in the third quarter. Less than two minutes later, she broke the record driving baseline and scoring in the paint giving her 45 points. Diestelkamp added 10 more points in the fourth quarter to finish with 53.
She went 21 for 27 from the field, 2 for 3 from three-point range, and 9 of 14 from the foul line. She added seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Diestelkamp’s 21 made field goals also broke a DU single-game record by four. Diestelkamp made 17 shots earlier this year against Lindenwood as part of a 37-point game.
“What’s impressive to me is that when she had 43 points, she got a drive to the basket and instead of forcing a shot in the lane, she kicked the ball out to Payton (Richards), who hit a three in the corner,” noted Miller. “That’s the type of thing to bring tears to your eyes. We wanted to force the issue with her, but she’s still finding open teammates.”
Drury point guard Daejah Bernard also tied a Drury single-game with 11 assists, and Drury’s 118 points were also a team record for points in a game.
The Lady Panthers shot 63 percent in the game, hitting 45 of 71 shots, and their defense forced 31 turnovers from Rockhurst, creating a 47-4 advantage in points-off-turnovers. Drury’s shooting percent also set a single-game record, and their 45 made field goals tied a program mark.
Paige Robinson added 18 points, and senior Brooke Stanfield scored 13, and Azia Lynch contributed 11.
Rockhurst’s Madeline Ronshausen led Rockhurst with 19 points.
Drury will play in the GLVC Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at 2:30 pm in Edwardsville, Illinois. The league will announce the bracket for the tournament later this weekend.