Maryville rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final three-plus minutes to nip Drury 54-53 in a bizarre finish to their Great Lakes Valley Conference matchup Saturday afternoon during Homecoming Weekend at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Drury led 52-41 with just over four minutes remaining, and was still up 53-48 with 1:46 left after Abby Bracker's free throw, but was shut out the rest of the way ... and certainly wasn't helped by a controversial finish that saw Maryville move to 13-8 overall and 9-4 in the GLVC.
Shelby Miller's arena-record 10th 3-pointer of the game - she finished with 35 points - with 28 seconds left pulled the Saints to within two (53-51).
After Katie Pritchard missed the front end of a one and one with 19 seconds left and asMaryville was playing for the final shot, Miller drove into traffic and was tied up by DU senior guard Marla Munson. While Miller was called for a personal foul in the ensuing tussle for the basketball, Munson was whistled for a technical for allegedly flinging her arm toward Miller while pulling away with the ball, then flipping backwards onto the floor.
With just 4.1 seconds left on the game clock and after a delay of some three to four minutes while the officials checked replay, Munson went to the line and missed both of her free throw attempts. At the other end, Miller missed her first free throw, but made the second, to pull the Saints within one (53-52).
Maryville, then with possession under its goal after the technical and with three seconds remaining, in-bounded the ball to an open Abby Duethman on the baseline, who was immediately fouled to prevent the open layup.
Duethman hit both free throws - putting Maryville up 54-53 - and Bethanie Funderburk's desperation attempt from well beyond half-court as the buzzer sounded left the Lady Panthers with a 10-11 overall record, a 4-9 mark in the GLVC and wondering how yet another one got away.
It marked Drury's seventh loss by five points or less this season and third consecutive setback by two points or less.
The wild finish overshadowed an uncany shooting exhibition from long-range by Maryville's Miller, who hit 10 of 13 from 3-point range for the game. She had 17 of Maryville's first 19 points of the game, as the Saints went on to trail DU by a 24-23 count at the half.
Funderburk was the lone Lady Panther to finish in double-figures with 16 points. Abby Bracker had 11 rebounds and Funderburk had nine boards as DU won the rebounding battle 42-39, despite 14 boards from Duethman.
The Lady Panthers shot 36 percent (22 of 61) from the field while holding Maryville to 33 percent (19 of 57), but DU was just 3 of 17 from 3-point range (18 percent) to the Saints' 10 of 19 (53 percent), largely done by Miller, who hit a game-winning layup at the buzzer at Missouri S & T on Thursday.
The Lady Panthers, who entered this week leading the GLVC in free-throw percentage, struggled for a second straight game at the line with a 6 for 12 effort.
Alex Hall posted his second straight 30-point game, hitting 8 3-pointers, as the Drury men firmed up its Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division lead with an 86-64 win over Maryville on a Homecoming Saturday at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
It was the ninth straight win for the Panthers, now 17-4 overall and 11-2 in the GLVC. West second-place Maryville fell to 19-6 and 9-4 and was swept by Drury in the season series.
But, unlike Drury's 78-37 win over the Saints in St. Louis on Jan. 24, this one was close - until the Panthers pulled away late in the first half with a 13-0 run over the final four minutes for an 11-point advantage (42-31) at the break.
Drury gradually extended the lead in the second half from there, including a 6-0 run on back-to-back treys by Hall around the 14-minute mark that took the lead to 60-42. Maryville never got closer than 10 points from there.
The Panthers hit 58 percent (30 of 52) from the field, including a 62-percent effort in the first half (16 of 26).
Drury also outrebounded the Saints 31-20, with Ian Carter - who joined joined Brandon Lockhart and Teddy Simniok with 12 points each - leading the way with six rebounds.
But the difference-maker again was Hall, who now has posted seven 30-point efforts as a Panther, but for the first time, back-to-back, 30-point games for the first time four-year DU career.
It was also the fifth time Hall has made eight 3-pointers in a game (he holds the Drury single-game record with nine against Missouri S & T back on Dec. 6 at The O'), and pushed his career trey total to 334, now just 18 away from breaking Matt Miller's 11-year-old school mark of 351.
Hall's 30 points pushed him to 1,861 for his career, moving him closer to Collins Harris (1,910 from 2004-08) for sixth place on the school's all-time scoring list.
"They're strictly a zone team, and Alex really helps our club because he can extend the defense," Drury coach Steve Hesser said. "If they're going to come out and take his three away, then obviously we have a chance to get the ball inside. I thought Teddy and Ian did a nice job inside."
The Panthers' two big men combined to hit 10 of 15 shots and grab 10 rebounds.
Trae Pemberton and Gerald Shaw had 13 points each and Myles Jerrett added 11 points for the Saints, who entered the game as the league's top scoring defense (62.1 points per game allowed, just one-tenth of a point ahead of the Panthers).
The 86 points scored by the Panthers were the most given up by Maryville this season.
Drury's nine-game winning streak is the most since the 2006-07 Panthers won nine in a row near the close of the season. Drury won 10 games in a row near the end of the 2005-06 campaign under Hesser. Their record since moving to the NCAA-II level in 1994-95 is the 15 straight games won at the end of the 2004-05 season, which ended with a loss in the Sweet 16.