Bethanie Funderburk scored a season-high 32 points - including 26 in the first half - but it wasn't enough as the Drury Lady Panthers fell 70-66 to Wisconsin-Parkside in a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest Saturday afternoon at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
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The Lady Panthers (6-5, 0-3 in the GLVC) fell behind 9-0 at the game's start, but roared back to claim a 44-29 halftime lead over the Rangers (7-3, 1-1), hitting 18 of their last 22 shots to complete a blistering half and shoot 69 percent (18 of 26) for the first 20 minutes.
Drury led by as many as 19 points - 48-29 - after two Funderburk free throws with 16:59 to go. But the Lady Panthers would score just six points over the next eight minutes, Parkside answered with a 26-6 run, and the Rangers led 55-54 on Jaleesa Trussell's layup with 8:47 to go.
From there, it was back and forth over the next four minutes, with Drury grabbing a 60-58 advantage on a pair of Lauren McCurry free throws with 4:26 to go.
But another turnover-filled dry spell hit the Lady Panthers against the Parkside pressure, and the Rangers answered with a 9-1 run for a 67-61 cushion from which Drury never fully recovered again.
Katie Pritchard's layup at the 48-second mark made it a 67-66 UWP lead, but Trussell and Danielle Slivka combined for three free throws the rest of the way and DU had no answer at the offensive end.
"Holding leads has been our Achilles heel all year," Drury coach Steve Harold said. "Our problem is we don't execute basic fundamentals very well. There's no reason for the mistakes we made handling the basketball, mainly on the dribble.
"Hats off to Parkside, because they executed and hung in there and got the victory."
Funderburk hit 10 of 11 shots in the opening half and finished at 12-for-17 shooting as Drury made 52 percent from the field (26 of 50). Pritchard was the only other DU player to reach double-figurds with 12 points, adding four steals.
Jenna Endisch had 17 points and Trussell finished with 16 points for the Rangers, who tied DU on the boards with 31 apiece. Slivka had eight for UWP and Kylie Williamson andEmilie Gray grabbed five each to pace DU.
The Lady Panthers are back in action on the GLVC road next weekend, playing at No. 7 Indianapolis on Thursday and at St. Joseph's on Saturday.