Bethanie Funderburk hit big free throws down the stretch, lifting Drury to a 60-55 win over Southwest Baptist to retain the trophy in the Bank of Bolivar Highway 13 Catfight Tuesday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
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SBU (0-1) took a 55-53 lead with 2:19 to go on a Leann Lansdown layup. but the Lady Panthers finished the game on a 7-0 run in their season opener to beat the Lady Bearcats on a night when shots simply weren't falling for a good shooting team.
Funderburk (4 for 13) and Katie Pritchard (1 for 17) were a combined 5 for 30 from the floor, and 3 for 13 from 3-point range in the contes as Drury made just 29 percent (17 of 59) overall as a team.
But Funderburk nailed a crucial 3-pointer with 1:54 to go to put DU on top 56-55, and added three of the Lady Panthers' four free throws down the stretch to seal it.
"You tell me we shoot 28 percent from the field for the game and we win, I'd be shocked," Drury coach Steve Harold said. "Credit SBU ... they played good defense. They play hard. I just thought our kids made a couple more plays than they did."
Tanis Spani had 16 points for the Lady Bearcats, who hit 21 of 44 shots for the game (48 percent), but were hampered by 29 turnovers. Drury committed just 15.
The Lady Panthers held a 36-34 advantage on the boards, with Funderburk, Abby Bracker and Sanayika Shields grabbing six boards each.
Drury returns to action next Tuesday at Washburn in Topeka, Kan.