Missouri Southern tops Zias

CNJ staff

EMPORIA, Kan. — Junior guard Jasmine Lovejoy shot 8-for-12 from the field en route to 21 points Saturday, lifting Missouri Southern to a 76-58 victory over Eastern New Mexico University in the ESU Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Emporia State.

Sophomore forward Michelle hedgecock aadded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lions (2-1), while junior gurd Danielle Harris scored 11 points and senior guard Jolea Apon added 10 points apiece.

Junior guard-forward Cat Clay finished with 20 points for ENMU en route to all-tournament honors. She hit 6-of-12 from 3-point range, one night after the Zias went 0-for-16 from long distance against Emporia State to end a streak of 114 games with at least one 3-pointer.

Sophomore guard Alex Ortiz came off the bench for 11 points for the Zias, including a trio of 3-pointers.

ENMU (0-3) continued to struggle from the field overall, shooting 32 percent (21-of-65) after hitting only 24 percent against Emporia. The Zias, though, did warm up from 3-point range, finishing the night 10-of-27.

Clay wasted little time getting off the schneid, scoring the team’s first five points, including a 3-pointer for a 5-2 lead with 16:46 left in the half.

Another 3-pointer by freshman Nikki Ingram put the Zias in front 8-6, and they opened their biggest lead at 20-16 on a trey by Ortiz with 7:25 left in the half.

Southern regrouped, taking the lead for good 28-26 on two free throws by Hedgecock at the 2:20 mark. That started a 7-0 run, but Clay hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to pull the Zias to 33-29 at the break.

The Lions took control with a 14-2 run to start the second half for a 47-31 lead with under 15 minutes to play. ENMU never got closer than 11 points after that.