The Drury Lady Panthers, ranked number one in the nation proved to be too much for the Lakers from Grand Valley State in a 51-44 final in front of a packed house of 2,428 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Missouri in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional championship game. With the victory, the Lady Panthers advance to the NCAA Division II Women’s Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio starting March 26.

The Lady Panthers took over midway through the third quarter.  Up 32-30 lead with 6:30 remaining, sophomore Lauren Holmes hit a three-pointer and then a layup in the span of a minute to give Drury a 43-36 margin headed to the final quarter of play.  Holmes led DU with 15 points.  Junior Hailey Diestelkamp from Owensville, Mo. finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds in a double-double effort.

Drury will open play at the Elite Eight on Tuesday, March 26th, and will learn of their opponent when the field is reseeded following the conclusion of all eight regional tournaments.