SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Behind a season-high 37 points from senior All-American Hailey Diestelkamp, the number one ranked Drury Lady Panthers remained undefeated with a 98-84 Great Lakes Valley Conference win over Lindenwood at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Saturday afternoon.
Diestelkamp, who also had ten rebounds for a double-double effort, was active on the offensive end, hitting on 17 of 24 field goal attempts and added three steals to her resume as Drury improved to 14-0 for the season and 5-0 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.
“She’s a beast, she plays hard, and that’s when a lot of her production comes out,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “It’s a by-product of her effort. Today she played hard, and it showed.”
After opening the game on an 11-0 run and forcing the Lions into a dozen first-quarter turnovers, the Lady Panthers behind 20 first-half points from Diestelkamp, rolled into the intermission locker room with a commanding 51-32 lead. The Lions, with 29 points in the third quarter, managed to make the game more interesting as they headed to the final period.
“Credit to Lindenwood,” said Miller. “They didn’t tuck their tails headed to the locker room. They came out with a little bit of fight, and there’s when our maturity needs to show. When you have a big lead, you can’t be content.”
Sophomore Paige Robinson, with 16 second-half points, finished with 18 and junior Payton Richards closed with 14 as the Lady Panthers were 49 percent from the field on 38 of 78 attempts. Kallie Bildner paced the Lions (7-4, 3-2) in scoring, finishing with 26 points.
Senior Daejah Bernard became the first player in Drury Lady Panthers history to surpass the 500 mark in career assists as she finished with 9 for the game and now has 505 in her four seasons at Drury. The Lady Panthers had a team total of 27 assists on their 38 made shots, outrebounded the Lions 42-31, and forced them into 25 turnovers.
The Lady Panthers begin a five-game road swing January 16th when they continue GLVC play at Maryville University.