After falling behind by as many as 13 points to the number one team in the country, the Drury women’s basketball team battled back to take the lead, but in the end loss 74-66 to Bentley University in the NCAA Division II women’s basketball Elite Eight on Tuesday night in Erie, PA. The Lady Panthers finish their season at 27-4, while the Falcons improved to 33-0.
Springfield, Mo. native Annie Armstrong, who finished with 16 points, hit a three-pointer with just under nine minutes to play to give Drury a 52-48 lead. However, Bentley responded with a 9-0 run. Armstrong hit another three-pointer with under three minutes to play to cut the Falcons lead to three, but they responded with back to back scores, ending the Drury threat.
“I’m very proud of my team tonight,” first-year DU coach Steve Huber said. “The best decision I ever made in my life, probably other than marrying my wife, was leaving a great institution at Creighton and coming to Drury and being able to be a part of 10 kids that bonded, bought into me and bought into a team … that wasn’t given much respect nationally and ended up going 27-4 and in my opinion, probably losing to the national champions.”
Coach Huber is right. This is just the second game all season where Bentley has won by fewer than double digits.
Sanayika Shields matched her career-high with 21 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Panthers. Drury’s 6’7 center Amber Dvorak grabbed nine rebounds, but was held just two points on 1-for-9 shooting and fouled out in 22 minutes. She had gone 24 straight games scoring in double-figures.