By Lance Jordan, Sports Editor
From Budapest, Hungary, Laura Szorenyi, sophomore, communications, has proven to be the player to watch in the upcoming season for the University of Missouri-St. Louis women’s basketball team. December 1 saw Szorenyi score a season best and game high for UMSL who fell to the Drury University Panthers.
Szorenyi, who originally played one season at West Virginia State, collected a total of 23 points in Thursday’s game. Szorenyi scored UMSL’s first point in the first quarter with a fast break in the paint, getting the layup while also drawing a foul which allowed Szorenyi to get the free throw.
At the 5:18 mark, Szorenyi gained another layup adding five points to UMSL’s twenty in the first quarter. Kansas City native, Shelby Dahl, junior, elementary education, also saw her own bit of success in the first half scoring seven points. One of those shots was a three-point shot which nearly tied the quarter for UMSL 14-15 at the 4:28 mark. The quarter ended, however, 21-20 with Drury in the lead.
In the second half, the Panthers controlled an 8-0 run. Their first basket, a three-pointer, set the tone of the Panthers’ impressive performance in the second quarter at their home court. At the 6:50 mark however, UMSl’s Paige Bunn, freshman, criminal justice, put UMSL back into the game with a layup. Szorenyi, en route to her season best, put away three more free throws in the second quarter. Bunn scored the final point for UMSL making it a 42-29 game, a 13 point lead for Drury.
Szorenyi scored ten of her points in the third quarter, in which the Tritons were finally able outscore the Panthers, 18-17. Scoring the jumper and final point of the quarter, UMSL still remained down 12 points with the score at 59-47.
The layup from Sammie Sproul, junior, business, kicked off the fourth quarter. Due to this and two free throws by Robeisha Lee, senior, liberal studies, 93 seconds into the fourth UMSL was able to close a bit of the gap. However, Drury pulled away from UMSL after the Tritons missed the next four baskets, while Drury scored five straight.
The match-up concluded 72-58 Drury, but not without Szorenyi being recognized for her effort in scoring 23 of UMSL’s 58 points. Also, UMSL collected a season-high Thursday of 13 steals.
Going into Thursday’s match-up with an overall record of 3-3 for the season and a two-game losing streak, the Tritons are in an interesting position to turn things around before the spring semester opens up on January 17. During the course of the winter break, the women’s basketball team will face 11 teams. Five of those games will count to their GLVC record which, as of Thursday, stands at 0-1.
In a GLVC pre-season poll, UMSL was picked to finish fifth in the West Division by the league coaches. Drury was tabbed as the favorite, while Quincy and Truman State were second and third, respectively. Rockhurst finished in fourth place ahead of the Tritons, while Maryville (sixth), William Jewell (seventh) and Missouri S&T (eighth) rounded out the poll.
To find upcoming Triton basketball games and other athletic events during the winter break check out http://www.umsltritons.com.