Hitt scores 21, Schaaf grabs 24 rebounds in Lady Panthers win


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— For the 16th time this season, sophomore Reese Schaaf posted a double-double effort for the Drury Lady Panthers and helped rally them to a 79-62 win over the Upper Iowa Peacocks Thursday night at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Schaaf scored 13 points, but absolutely ‘owned’ the boards, pulling down a Drury women’s record 24 rebounds in a single game to turn back the upset-minded Peacocks and move the Lady Panthers to 22-5 overall and to 17-4 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

“Night in and night out Reese is gonna get the best defense from the other team,” said Drury head coach Kaci Bailey.  “But I challenged her at halftime and said even if you’re not scoring, you’ve gotta have a presence out there and she did just that, she may have gotten every rebound after halftime.”

While Schaaf captured the major headline, it was the guard play of juniors Caitlynn Daniels and Anna Hitt that made the difference, as they combined for a total of 43 points, 22 by Daniels and a career-best 21 by Hitt, as Drury came from behind in the second half to take the win.

“I thought Anna kept us in the game in the first half with her cutting moves,” added Bailey.  “But I’ll tell you that (senior) Gabby Burns was a big difference maker for us late. She played just 13 minutes and didn’t score a point, but she really energized us defensively and again was a difference maker.”

The Lady Panthers struggled throughout the first half and trailed 38-30, but a 17-6 run to open the second half pushed them to their first lead and they extended their margin in the third period to lead by four, then outscored Upper Iowa 26-13 in the final stanza to close the game.

Graduate student Beth Matas Martin was a fourth Drury player to reach double figures, as she finished with ten points.

Schaaf’s single-game rebounding record broke the previous mark set by Melanie Oliver, who had 22 in game on Feb. 6, 2010 against Indianapolis.

The Peacocks, who dropped to 13-12 overall and 10-11 in league play were paced in scoring by  Kayla Bohr, who had 17 points.

The Lady Panthers will conclude the 2023-24 regular season on Saturday, March 2nd, when they celebrate Senior Day activities, hosting Truman State in a 1 pm showdown at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

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