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from a Drury Athletics press release:
Katie Pritchard scored 19 points and Bethanie Funderburk added 18 points - both off the bench as Drury downed Rockhurst 66-54 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Saturday afternoon at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
An "Overflow The O'" crowd of 1,907 saw the Lady Panthers move to 9-10 overall and 3-8 in the league. Rockhurst - coming off a drubbing of then-GLVC West co-leader Missouri S & T on Thursday, fell to 6-13 and 3-8.
Drury got off to a sluggish opening, with just two points in the game's first eight minutes, but Rockhurst could only build a 7-2 lead in that stretch. Pritchard instantly breathed life in the offense, scoring 10 points and adding four assists and three rebounds in her 16 minutes as DU rallied to take a 32-27 halftime lead.
The Lady Panthers gradually extended it in the second half as high as 14 points (50-36). And when Rockhurst cut it down to six (50-44) with an 8-0 run with just under eight minutes left, Drury countered with a Funderburk 3-pointer as part of an 8-2 run that helped the Lady Panthers tuck away the win.
Drury claimed a 40-24 rebounding advantage, led by 11 boards from Abby Bracker. Funderburk finished with seven boards and Kalea Parks had six.
"We sure needed (a win) ... we'd just had two gut-wrenching losses coming into this one," Drury coach Steve Harold said, referring to two-point losses at UMSL and William Jewell. "We talked about it in locker room and yesterday in meeting ... we felt like today was a must win if we want to get into the conference tournament.
"Teams that win in March win in February, and we're now 1-0 in February. That's the way we look at it. I'm proud of the way they responded today."
Harold shook up the lineup with Pritchard and Funderburk coming off the bench, and it appeared to work. Funderburk, now with 1,195 points, moved past Melanie Oliver (1,181) and Megan Brunson (1,184) and into eighth place on the DU all-time scoring charts.
In addition, Funderburk's two 3-pointers give her 158 for her career, moving past Brunson for fifth place on the DU list. Pritchard is the all-time Lady Panthers' leader with 244 after hitting two more (in three attempts) Saturday.
"I think we had a gut check and reality check yesterday in our team meetings, and I think they came out and handled it the right way," Harold said. "I'm very proud of both of them."
Drury hit 14 of 26 shots in the first half (54 percent) before cooling to 6 of 23 in the second half (26 percent) and finishing at 41 percent (20 of 49).
Rockhurst made 19 of 46 shots (41 percent) and committed 23 turnovers, 13 of them after halftime.
"I was really pleased with Marla Munsen and her defense," Harold said. "I think Rockhurst had trouble getting into the flow of its offense, and I think a lot of that was a credit to her."
Pritchard finished with a career-high six steals to go with four rebounds and four assists.
The Lady Panthers continue the three-game homestand next week with games on Thursday against Missouri-St. Louis ("Pink Zone" for Breast Cancer Awareness) and Saturday vs. Maryville (Homecoming).
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