JOPLIN — Central Missouri women’s basketball (5-8, 4-4 MIAA) rallied all the way back from seven in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 62-59 Saturday afternoon in Joplin, Mo.
Trailing by four with 30 seconds remaining, Shelby Winkelmann knocked down an off-balanced three to bring UCM within one, 60-59. The Lions fumbled the ensuing inbounds, giving UCM a chance to tie or take the lead. With the game clock winding down, Ashley Jones’ jumper from the free throw line missed wide and sailed out of bounds.
The Jennies set MSSU to the free throw line with 0.7 seconds where Sharese Jones knocked both free throws, putting MSSU back up three. With under a full second, UCM had one last chance at a tie, but Winkelmann’s deep three didn’t fall as time expired.
Winkelmann was the Jennies leading scorer, putting up 24 points, her fourth straight game with at least 24 points. She also handed out a team-high five assists. Ashley Jones picked up her second double-double in as many games. The senior scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
The first half was a struggle for both teams to score and UCM went into intermission with a two point lead, 22-20. It was their lowest point total while leading at the half in at least five years.
Missouri Southern came out of the break strong, scoring on each of their first four possessions. They went up by as many as seven in the period, before taking a five-point lead, 41-36 after three. The Lions 21 points in the third quarter were more than they scored in the entire first half.
After Deb Holcomb’s free throws put the Lions back up a game-high seven, UCM marched back, getting a three from Tayler Weiks and a Winkelmann layup to get to within two, 43-41 with just under nine minutes to play.
Central Missouri was able to regain the lead, 52-49 when Winkelmann buried a three following a Lion turnover at the 3:58 mark. The lead didn’t last though, as Sharese Jones again put the Lions up, 56-55 with 2:14 remaining. Desirea Buerge hit a three on MSSU’s next possession and Missouri Southern was able to hold on for the win.
The Lions had three in double figures with Holcomb’s 18 leading the way. Sharese Jones and Buerge scored 16 and 13, respectively and both had eight boards.
The Jennies return home next week as they host Lindenwood University Wednesday, Jan. 13. with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
Press release courtsey UCM