Joplin, Mo. - Coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss at home to Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday afternoon, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team looks to turn the page from that tough loss on Wednesday evening when they travel to Emporia, Kan. to take on the Emporia State Hornets at 5:30 p.m. in White Auditorium.
The Lions last time out (10-5, 4-3 MIAA): With Dominique Mosley hitting a layup as time expired in regulation to force overtime, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team fell 67-60 in overtime to Nebraska-Kearney Saturday afternoon at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
With Mosley's layup forcing overtime, the Lions were unable to capitalize in the extra session only hitting 1-of-11 from the field in the extra five minutes to fall to the MIAA newcomer.
With the Lions up by two at the halftime break, Southern would get off to a slow start in the second half out as the Lopers came out of the locker room on a 15-6 run to take a seven point lead (43-36), before three consecutive Stone layups and a free throw from Mosley tied the game at 44 with 8:10 to play.
The two squads would trade the next 12 points to lock the game at 50, before the Lopers hit three free throws and a layup to take a five point lead with 1:57 to play. The Lions would respond with Stone hitting a pair of free throws before Erin Rice nailed a jumper from inside the paint to close it within one. A Loper's free throw gave UNK a two-point lead before Mosley's last second shot forced overtime. With the score tied at 60, the Lopers would reel off the last seven points of the game as the Lions were unable to hit any of their final six shots in the extra session.
The Lady Hornets last time out (8-6, 3-3 MIAA): Laura Patrick led three Lady Hornets in double figures with 17 points as Emporia State defeated Missouri Western 62-55 on Sunday afternoon in White Auditorium.
Emporia State jumped out to a 12-4 lead only to see Missouri Western tie the score at 14 with 8:51 left in the first half. Patrick then gave the Lady Hornets the lead for good with a three pointer and Sarah Wood added an old fashioned three point play to put Emporia State ahead 20-14. A pair of free throws from Patrick with 13:17 left in the game gave the Lady Hornets their largest lead of the game at 47-37 before settling in for the seven point win.
Patrick added a career high six assists to her game high 17 points. She was joined in double figures by Rachel Hanf with 12 and Merissa Quick with 11 points. Jocelyn Cummings led Emporia State with a game high 12 rebounds to go with her nine points.
The Coaches: Maryann Mitts is the winningest coach in Missouri Southern history. Under Mitts' guidance, the Lions have averaged 17 wins during her 11 years at the helm and have finished in the upper echelon of the highly competitive Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association seven of those 11 years. In 16 years as a collegiate head coach, Mitts has amassed an impressive 13 winning seasons. Notable, the Lions have also narrowly missed the NCAA post-season tournament in six of those 11 years. Overall, Mitts has compiled a 185-137 (.575) record in 12 years with the Lions. She holds a 268-193 (.581) mark in 17 years as a collegiate head coach. Mitts currently ranks amongst the Top 50 of all Division II active coaches in all-time victories.
Jory Collins is in his third season as the coach of the Lady Hornets. In 2011-12, Collins lead the Hornets to a 23-9 record while qualifying for the NCAA Tournament before falling to fellow MIAA member Pittsburg State in the regional championship game. In 2010-11 he led ESU to a 20-9 record and became the second MIAA coach to win 20 games and make the MIAA Tournament Championship Game. In 2009-10 Collins was the lead assistant for ESU as the Lady Hornets won the NCAA Division II National Championship. Collins has been a member of the Lady Hornet coaching staff for ten seasons and ESU has advanced to the NCAA tournament in eight of those seasons.
The Series between the two schools: The Lady Hornets lead the overall series with the Lions 47-23 with Emporia State taking both meetings last season. The Lady Hornets won 79-65 in Emporia on February 11, 2012, while also winning in Joplin 74-55 on January 4, 2012. The two teams have split the series in Joplin 16-16, but the Lady Hornets hold a distinct advantage in Emporia winning 80% of the matchups (28-7), including 19 consecutive meetings, while taking all three on neutral site courts as well. The Lions last won in Emporia on February 24, 1996 when they defeated the Lady Hornets 78-66.