Drury outlasts Lander, heads to National Championship

Sports

COLUMBUS, Oh. — The Drury Lady Panthers are headed to the National Championship game behind a 74-65 win over Lander in the NCAA-DII semifinals.

Much like the quarterfinal matchup with Charleston, Drury was forced to rally from behind after incurring a first quarter deficit.

One again, though, the Lady Panthers rallied back and went beyond their opponents to earn the victory.

Azia Lynch was a force for Drury, posting 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

Division II Player of the Year Paige Robinson added a team-high 26 points to help boost Drury past the Bearcats.

“Wow, it’s like I’m still trying to breathe,” Head Coach Amy Eagan said after the win. “I’m happy obviously for the kids and the program. I always just think in my mind how these kids and even last year’s kids got it taken away from them. To be in a position to have that opportunity to go do that I think is huge for these kids.”

“It’s crazy,” Robinson added. “I don’t even know how to feel right now. I’m just kind of on an all-time high. Everyone around me has made it easy for me. I just am thankful for all those people.”

“We’ve come so far and I feel like we deserve this,” Lynch said. “Give everything we’ve got, one through 15. I wasn’t going to let it end like that. It’s such a blessing to actually have, to make it to the championship game. Now we’re going to recover, repair and finish it out.”

The Lady Panthers will face a familiar foe in the National Championship game.

Lubbock Christian outlasted Central Missouri in the other semifinal, 63-61.

That means it will be a rematch of the 2019 semifinals when the Lady Chaps ended Drury’s season and went on to win the championship.

So a chance for revenge on top of a title for the Lady Panthers.

The championship game will tip-off at 7:00 pm Friday in Columbus.

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