SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Shouldering a midseason three-game losing streak, the Drury Panthers picked up a critical win on Saturday afternoon, turning back Lindenwood 83-62 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center to improve to 9-4 overall and 2-3 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.
Junior Conley Garrison posted a season-high 24 points and dished a team-high six assists in pacing the Panthers to the much-needed win. Garrison was six of ten shooting from the field, including four of seven from three-point range and a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line as he challenged the Lion’s defense both from the perimeter and with strong drives to the basket.
“He’s the ultimate competitor,” said Drury head coach Steve Hesser. “He loves to play and loves to work on his craft. If you’re just a three-point shooter, they can take that away, but he’s improved at taking the ball to the basket, and that makes him good.”
The Panthers held a 19-point edge at halftime at 41-23, as they held the Lions to just nine made shots on 28 attempts while draining a hand full of three-point shots.
Junior Niekie Thomas in his busiest outing of the year was Drury’s only other player to reach double figures, as he finished with 11. Cameron Scales with 12 points topped the scoring for Lindenwood (8-5, 2-3). Drury shared the ball well, handing out 23 assists on their 28 made shots on only 49 attempts, finishing at 57 percent shooting, while limiting the Lions to 39 percent from the field on 24 of 62.
“The twenty-three assists on twenty-eight baskets, that’s kind of it,” added Hesser. “When you move the ball and share it, then typically you shoot a high percentage, and we did that tonight.”
The teams split on the boards, with each getting 31 rebounds. The Panthers were 17 of 20 from the free throw line and 10 of 19 from three-point range for the game.
The Panthers are back in action on January 16th, when they travel to Maryville University in the opener of a five-game GLVC road swing.