basketball-women-d2 flag | February 27, 2014

DII: No. 7 Drury defeats Missouri S&T; earns bye in GLVC tournament

ROLLA, Mo. -- No. 7 Drury used a 31-2 spurt late in the first half to surge away from Missouri S&T and post a 91-54 victory to secure the outright Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division title Thursday night at the Bullman Multipurpose Building.

Coach Steve Huber's Lady Panthers (24-2) - picked for fifth in the GLVC West preseason poll of league coaches - instead completed the regular season with a 16-2 mark to win or share the division crown for the seventh time in their nine seasons as a league member, finishing with a two-game lead against Quincy (a 70-59 loser at Truman State on Thursday) and with a bang in their regular season finale.

Bethanie Funderburk scored 23 points, Amber Dvorak added 22 points and Sanayika Shields had a career-high 18 points to lead the Lady Panthers, who pulled out of an 8-all deadlock with 14:30 left in the first half by going on a 31-2 run during the next 10 minutes and went on to claim a 51-18 halftime advantage.

Drury hit 68 percent of its shots (19 of 28) in the first half, while holding the Lady Miners to 26 percent (18 of 57).

From there, it was simply a matter of running the second-half clock, as Drury built its lead as high as 44 points in coasting to the sweep of S&T this season.

"I think the Rockhurst game [an 84-79 overtime win in KC on Saturday] was a game that afterward, I tried to send a message to our team ... I think that message was heard loud and clear," Huber said. "I thought Beth bounced back tonight and played maybe her best game of the year. And I don't think we've held anyone to 31 percent shooting all season."

Funderburk hit 10 of 14 shots and added six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 34 minutes for the Lady Panthers, who saw Shields - battling a sinus infection -  hit 9 of 11 attempts and Dvorak make 10 of 14 shots.

Drury finished with a 43-22 domination on the boards led by seven boards each from Shelby White and Kylie Williamson, who had 11 points to give the Lady Panthers at least four players in double-figures for an eighth consecutive game.

Annie Armstrong had eight assists and no turnovers in 31 minutes at the point.

Senait McLeod had 14 points to lead S&T (9-17, 5-13).

The Lady Panthers, by virtue of finishing in the top four in the league, receive a first-round bye in the Deaconess GLVC Championships post-season tourney and will advance to next Thursday's quarterfinals in Evansville, Ind., against a foe and at a time TBD.