JOPLIN, Mo. - Miami outscored Joplin, Mo., 41-35 over the final three quarters of Saturday's clash at Kaminsky Gymnasium - yet still wound up losing by 16 points.
That's because the Lady Eagles jumped out to a 23-1 advantage in the first quarter of the game, which was part of the round-robin Freeman Classic.
“That's two nights in a row we've dug us so deep of a hole,” Miami coach JohnCarl Morgan said after the 58-42 loss.
The Lady Wardogs trailed Webb City, Mo., 22-4 after the opening stanza Friday night. They wound up dropping a 74.48 decision.
“We're not good enough to dig ourselves out of a hole like that,” Morgan said. “It's becoming a bit of a broken record. In the second, third and fourth quarters, we beat them - but when its 23-1 to start, you don't have a chance.”
The Lady Wardogs had only four field goals and didn't score until Emily Cline hit the front end of a two-shot foul with 3.8 seconds remaining.
They had 22 of their 30 turnovers in the first two quarters.
“They came out in a defense they hadn't run all year,” Morgan said. “Every scouting report we'd got was they ran one thing and one thing only, maybe one variation. They changed it up. Maybe it surprised us and maybe it didn't. But we had some sets to run against it and we didn't run them right and didn't execute.”
Joplin ballooned its lead to 34-9 with 3:21 left in the half on a 3-pointer by Samantha Phillips and a layup by Jessie McMullen.
The Lady Wardogs finally came to life, scoring the final seven points of the half. Emily Cline accounted for five of that on three free throws and a follow shot.
Nikki Mullin had a jumper with 14.8 seconds left that left MHS trailing 34-16.
The Lady Wardogs picked up where they left off to start the third quarter, getting layups from Alyssa Johnson, Cline and Mickey Prairie Chief that were set up by steals.
That cut the gap to 34-22 with 6:55 left in the third quarter.
Joplin finally broke the ice with a trey by Taylor Costly, then Cline added a free throw to leave the score at 37-23.
An 8-2 edge over the final 1:52 enabled the Lady Eagles to carry a 49-28 advantage into the final stanza.
The closest Miami would get the rest of the way was 53-39 with 3:05 left when Cline hit a pair of free throws.
Cline finished with 13 points to lead the Lady Wardogs offensively. Johnson chipped in with eight points.
Three players scored in double figures for the Lady Eagles, who won just their second game in eight starts.
McMullin had 19 points, followed by Phillips with 11 and Liz Stewart added 10.
The Lady Eagles held a whopping edge at the free throw line, connecting on 20-of-31 chances. They were 9-of-14 in the fourth quarter.
Miami made only 12 trips to the charity stripe, canning nine of those.
The Lady Wardogs (3-3) host Pryor Tuesday night.
Miami 1 15 12 14 - 42
Joplin, Mo. 23 11 15 9 - 58
Miami - Cline 13, Johnson 8, Neal 6, Prairie Chief 5, Mullin 5, Wilkins 3, Osborn 2.
Joplin - McMullen 19.