SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Despite a career-high 21 points from sophomore post Emilie Gray, Lewis turned a close game into a rout in the second half and downed the Lady Panthers 78-55 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Freshman Kalea Parks added a career-best 10 points for the Lady Panthers (6-4), who fell to 0-2 in GLVC play with both losses at home. Lewis improved to 8-1 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Drury fell down by eight midway through the opening half, last at 21-13 with 8:42 to go, but rallied to cut that deficit to two (27-25) on Kylie Williamson's layup with 3:19 remaining in the half.
But the Flyers finished with a flurry, as 3-pointers by Alyssa Dengler and Nikki Nellen sparked an 8-0 run that left Lewis up 38-27 at the break.
"I thought we had a good plan there in the first half until right there at the end," Drury coach Steve Harold said. "Lewis did a good job of pushing the ball in transition on us, and we were really struggling to find our man defensively. Sometimes it's hard to get matched up when it's a missed shot, and it seemed like everything we had was a missed shot. We never got back into a half-court defense, and that's something we knew we had to do coming in."
The Lady Panthers hit just 24 of 73 shots (33 percent) for the game, including a combined 4-for-25 by the All-GLVC backcourt of Katie Pritchard and Bethanie Funderburk, who combined for just 10 points and were averaging a combined 30 points coming in.
Gray made 10 of her 16 shots in besting her previous career best of 19 points, set in November in a loss at Washburn.
Lebrenthia Murdock had 19 points to lead five Flyers in double-figures as Lewis turned a 38-27 halftime advantage into what grew to a 28-point cushion with 4:47 to go as Drury suffered its worst home loss in the program's 13-year history. (Northern Kentucky defeated the Lady Panthers 84-65 at Weiser Gym on March 15, 2008 in the Great Lakes Regional finals).
Lewis also claimed a 52-39 advantage on the boards, led by eight rebounds from Sam Rinehart.
Gray had eight rebounds, matching a career best, to lead DU, which got six rebounds each from Parks and Funderburk.
"I'm just sick to my stomach watching what I saw today," Harold said. "I don't know what to say ... my apologies to the fans who came and watched this. We're going to get this figured out, so don't give up on us.
"We can't get this one back, but we've got to come back (Saturday) and show a little more fight next time."
The Lady Panthers return to action on Saturday in a 1 p.m. GLVC tipoff at The O', taking on Wisconsin-Parkside on "Trading Card Poster Day." All kids are admitted free of charge, and there will be an autograph session after the contest for all fans.
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