The Drury Lady Panthers will be playing for a national championship in Division II basketball on Friday after rallying in the second half to knock off second seeded Lander 74-65 in Columbus, Ohio. With the win, Drury will play number one ranked Lubbock Christian, who defeated Central Missouri 63-61 on Wednesday in the other semifinal game in Columbus.
Drury was down nine in the first half, not as much as 17 in the Elite Eight game the night before, but the Lady Panthers had some work to do.
National Player of the Year Paige Robinson’s three-pointer put Drury in front 34-33 and the two teams traded leads during the second quarter until the Lady Panthers went on a 14-2 run to build an 11-point lead at 52-41. Robinson scored 13 of her team-high 26 points the second. The Lady Panthers turned the ball over eight times in the final eight minutes, and they lost Robinson to an injury with 3:26 remaining.
The Lady Panthers will be playing in the NCAA-II National Championship game for the second time in program history and for the first time since 2004. Drury lost to California (Pa.) 75-72 in the ’04 championship game. Friday’s national championship will be a rematch of the 2019 national semifinals when Lubbock Christian defeated the Lady Panthers 69-60 in Drury’s only loss in their 35-1 season.
Friday’s game will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. Central.