JOPLIN, Mo. — Fort Hays State junior forward Belle Barbieri put up a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the No. 5-ranked Tiger women to a 72-57 road victory over Missouri Southern on Saturday.
Barbieri went 8 of 10 from the field and 5 of 6 from the foul line, shattering her previous career high of 14 points.
Tatyana Legette added 16 points and 11 rebounds while Kacey Kennett and Whitney Randall added 12 and 10, respectively. Kennett also pulled down nine rebounds.
Whitney Clampitt gave the Tigers a boost off the bench, recording nine points and four assists in a season-high 31 minutes.
The Tigers moved to 21-1 on the season and 12-1 in the MIAA, maintaining their two-game lead at the top of the conference standings.
It was a strong week and an encouraging response for the Tigers after losing senior point guard Carly Heim to a torn ACL. FHSU picked up a 78-53 win at Pittsburg State on Thursday in its first game without Heim.
FHSU turned in another solid defensive outing against Southern, keeping the Lions in check for most of the game before Southern went on a late flurry in the closing minutes. The Lions finished 21 of 45 from the field (46.7 percent) and committed 18 turnovers. FHSU was 26 of 62 from the floor for 41.9 percent.
Fort Hays took a 31-22 lead into the break and led 47-36 after three quarters. The Tigers scored the first six points of the fourth to help put the Lions away.
Chasidee Owens scored 20 points to lead the Lions (12-12, 4-10 MIAA). But Southern guard Chelsey Henry, who came in averaging 16.9 points, was held in check by the Tigers, finishing with six points and going 1 of 8 from the field.
The Tigers will return to Gross Memorial Coliseum to face Lindenwood at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.