Jennies fall late at Missouri Southern, 71-65

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JOPLIN, Mo.) – The Jennies were unable to hold a double-digit, second half lead at Missouri Southern, falling, 71-65 at the hands of the Lions on Saturday at the Legett and Platt Athletic Center.
The opening of the first half featured a back and forth affair, the game knotted at 10 apiece eight minutes in. Junior Shelby Winkelmanntallied seven points in the first nine and a half minutes on 2-of-2 from the floor and depositing 3-of-4 free throws.
Missouri Southern jumped ahead, 15-14 after a three-pointer by the Lions’ Jolee Sharp, but junior Tayler Weiks responded with a three of her own, providing the Jens with a 17-15 lead with 9:14 left in the half.
The Jennies (12-8, 6-6 MIAA) briefly lost the lead at the 8:27 mark, but a 7-0 run over the next 4:39 erased the one-point deficit.
With a 24-21 advantage with under three minutes to go in the opening half, the two teams both exchanged three made free throws.
On the final play of the first half, Brielle Wattley kicked it out to Breonna Embray who knocked down a three from the top right corner to beat the buzzer. The Jennies had six players score in the first half, as they took a 30-24 lead into the locker room.
The Lions scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 31-30 lead. The foes exchanged buckets for the next nine possessions, before the Jennies regained a 42-40 lead with 12:28 left to play after a pair of free throws by Winkelmann.
After Missouri Southern tied the game with a pair of free throws by Jenson Maydew, senior Jasmine Thompsonconverted on a layup, pushing Central Missouri ahead, 44-42.
Winkelmann drew a foul on the next possession and knocked down two free throw tosses, to give UCM a four-point lead.
A three-point play by Alexis Fitzpatrick sliced the Jens’ lead to 46-45, but back-to-back layups by Danielle Barry and Winkelmann made it a six-point game with 10:28 left.
A 7-2 run by the Jennies ensued, sparked by Thompson’s five points in a two-minute span, bumping UCM’s lead to 57-47. Barry’s two made free throws one possession later, increased the lead to a dozen.
The Lions came back to score 10 unanswered points in the next 3:29 to cut the Jennies’ lead to 59-57 with under five minutes to play. Howard came back to split a pair of free throws on the next possession to set up a 60-57 ballgame.
Missouri Southern capitalized on an offensive rebound on the next possession, tying the game at 60-60 following Morice’s three-pointer. The Lions took a 62-60 lead with 3:38 remaining, but Winkelmann responded with a trey to put the Jennies back in front, 63-62 with 3:02 to go.
Sharese Jones gave MSSU a 64-63 lead on the next possession, and would later add to that lead with a three-pointer by Morice with 2:04 left in the game.
Thompson pulled the Jens to within two points at the 1:39 mark, but UCM was unable to close the gap any closer for the remainder of the game.
The Jennies had three players finish with double-figure points, led by Winkelmann’s 20. Thompson collected her second double-double of the campaign, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds.
UCM’s next game will take place next Thursday, February 5 at Southwest Baptist. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.