Lady Panthers’ defensive intensity returns in exhibition


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Drury Lady Panthers were right back to work Saturday as they opened exhibition play with a 95-52 win over visiting Columbia College.

Sophomore Paige Robinson led the game in scoring with 22 points on 8-14 shoting along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 24 minutes of work.

Robinson is now starting for Drury after earning GLVC freshman of the year and conference first team honors off the bench last season.

Azia Lynch shined as well with 20 points in 15 minutes of action off the bench.

Saturday also marked Mizzou Transfer and Lebanon native Kelsey Winfrey showed a quick adaptation to the defense first play style, tallying a team-high six steals along with 11 points and five rebounds in her O’Reilly Center debut.

Drury forced 44 turnovers total and tallied 33 steals in the victory, marking a return to their defensive intensity that took them to a Final Four last year.

Lady Panther Head Coach Molly Miller, while celebrating her birthday, said it was important to establish that level of defense that shined last year.

“It was kind of funny in there because we were talking about our turnovers forced and how we want that steal number up,” Miller said. “I was saying, ‘Good job. We got 33 steals and 44 forced turnovers.’ They’re kind of like: yeah. But Kelsey is new. She’s like, ‘My mind is blown!’ It’s kind of the normal. Lauren Holmes is in there like, ‘Yeah, we even left some out there.’ I think that number to us is obviously high to the outsider, but that’s what the expectation is. To come away forcing 44 turnovers and 33 steals, that’s where we left off last year and want to pick up with that defensive intensity.”

The Lady Panthers play their second and final exhibition game next Saturday, October 26th when they host William Woods.

Tip-off from the O’Reilly Family Event Center is set for 7:15 pm.

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