BOLIVAR - They played the full 40 minutes ... and still needed another two or three to decide the latest winner of the Bank of Bolivar's "Highway 13 Cat Fight."
After originally waving off Dilonna Johnson's driving bucket as coming after the final horn, game officials huddled over a monitor to later confirm that the Drury Lady Panthers had indeed earned a 77-76 victory over Southwest Baptist in the latest "Cat Fight" night at the Meyer Sports Center.
And this one, the third in the series - and third straight won by the Lady Panthers - was most definitely the first to earn the title of "thriller."
Drury trailed 37-34 at the half, battled back to lead by as many as seven (66-59) with just over four minutes left, then withstood an all-out, long-range assault by SBU's Brook Duncan to escape with the win.
Duncan had 23 points and 12 rebounds to the lead the Lady Bearcats, scoring 15 of her points in the final seven minutes to bring SBU charging back in the electric atmosphere of the Meyer Center.
But it wasn't enough to totally offset the DU effort, led by senior forward Kylie Williamson's career-high 24 points. Williamson hit her first five 3-point attempts - all in the first 12-plus minutes of the game - to keep the Lady Panthers in it early, then the balance arrived late.
Drury trailed 37-34 at the half, but Annie Armstrong scored all 11 of her points in the second half, Paige Wilson had eight of her nine points after halftime - including a huge, clutch 3-pointer from 23 feet with 21 seconds left that gave DU the final lead (77-76) - and Amber Dvorak had five big points on her way to an 11-point effort to spark the Lady Panthers' surge to their second victory in as many games under first-year head coach Steve Huber.
Drury returns to action , visiting Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Okla., for a start as the Riverhawks open their new arena.