JOPLIN — The Missouri Southern Lady Lions closed out their six-game homestand with a 76-64 win Saturday over Missouri Western at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Missouri Southern improved to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association with conference victories at home against Lincoln, Lindenwood, Northwest Missouri, and Missouri Western.
The Lady Lions have also had all their key pieces in place during their winning streak, after players like Desirea Buerge, Dru Clark, and Jasmine Green missed multiple games early in the season due to injury and illness.
On Saturday, Jenson Maydew scored a career-high 23 points behind seven 3-point shots, while Desirea Buerge scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half, aided by a 11 for 12 effort at the free throw line.
Clark and former Neosho High standout Chelsey Henry each scored 12 points, with 10 of Henry’s points coming in the first half.
Henry comes off a career-high 27 points Thursday night against Northwest Missouri, which exceeded her previous high of 26 from earlier this season.
Brittany Atkins led Missouri Western (10-5, 3-3 MIAA) with 17 points, while 40-minute player Melia Richardson had 13 points, three rebounds, and four assists.
Missouri Southern returns to action Thursday on the road against Lindenwood, who Missouri Southern defeated 78-75 the first time around on December 9.
In that game, Buerge carried the Lady Lions on her back with 36 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 39 minutes, while Henry contributed 19 points.
Buerge and Henry combined to shoot 21-23 at the stripe in that contest, Buerge 13-14 and Henry 8-9, both performances examples of why Buerge and Henry rank among MIAA leaders in both scoring average and free throw percentage.
On the season, Henry averages 17 points and 3.4 rebounds, plus she’s shooting 45.6 percent (83-182) from the field, 36 percent (18-50) from 3-point range, and 87.1 percent (54-62) from the line.
In the men’s contest Saturday, the Lions earned their third straight win with a 72-66 score against Missouri Western, outscoring the Griffons 39-33 in the second half.
Elyjah Clark led three Lions in double figures with 21 points, while C.J. Carr tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals and L.J. Ross came through with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Lavon Hightower led Missouri Western with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Trey Brown had 12 points and four assists and Bryan Hudson tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Cheikh Fall had eight points, three rebounds, and three blocked shots.
The Lions improved to 9-6 overall and 4-2 MIAA, returning to action Thursday on the road against the Lions of Lindenwood.