Ian Carter scored 19 points to lead four Panthers in double-figures and No. 14 Drury pulled away early in the second half on its way to an 84-59 Great Lakes Valley Conference victory over Lewis Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Brandon Lockhart added 17 points, including the first seven by either team to start the second half as Drury turned a 41-35 halftime lead into a 13-point advantage to start the pullaway.
The Panthers improved to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the GLVC, while Lewis fell to 6-3 and 0-1.
Alex Hall had 14 points and a season-high seven assists and Cameron Adams had 15 points - on 5-for-5 shooting - in 18 minutes off the bench as the Panthers sizzled the nets with 63-percent shooting from the field (31 of 49), led by a 9-for-10 effort from the floor by Carter.
The Panthers hit seven of their first nine shots and 17 of 24 in the first half (71 percent), made more impressive in the fact that Lewis was ranked second in the GLVC in field goal percentage defense at 38 percent.
Drury also had 21 assists to just 12 turnovers, and rallied from a 14-10 halftime deficit on the boards in the first half by outrebounding the Flyers 23-12 in the second half for a final 33-26 advantage.
"We shot 63 percent tonight overall against a team with some very impressive numbers defensively this season," Drury coach Steve Hesser said. "It's a good way to start 2013. I thought really when we were hooked up and passing the ball to each other, we were very efficient on the offensive end tonight."
Kyle Nelson had 13 points and former Missouri State Bear Nick Valla had 11 for the Flyers, who got just five points from reigning GLVC Freshman of the Year Ryan Jackson.
Drury returns to GLVC play on Saturday in a 3:15 p.m. tipoff against Wisconsin-Parkside at The O'. It's "Trading Card Poster Day," with all kids admitted free and an autograph session with the Panthers scheduled for after the contest.
"Now that we're back into league play with the two-game weekends, it's a chance for us to get into a rhythm," Hesser said. "This is a good start. The Saturday (games) are the toughest because you only have the one day of preparation, so we need to get some rest, come out tomorrow and try to improve on Saturday."
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