Joplin, Mo. - After downing Lindenwood at home on Wednesday, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team returns to action on Saturday afternoon hosting the Lincoln Blue Tigers at 1 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Teams: Missouri Southern (11-3, 5-2 MIAA) vs. Lincoln Blue Tigers (3-11, 0-7)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: MSSU leads 24-5 (Home: 12-1, Away: 9-4, Neutral: 3-0)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (11-3 at MSSU, overall). Nicole Collier (14-27 at Lincoln, overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Last time out for the Lions (11-3, 5-2 MIAA): Returning home for their first game at the LPAC since Jan. 4, the Southern women's basketball team defeated Lindenwood 72-61 behind 19 points from Shonte Clay .
With the Lions getting off to a fast start and taking a 40-30 lead at halftime, Southern pushed their lead to 13 out of the locker room as Clay hit a layup and Alexis Fitzpatrick nailed a three-pointer to take a 45-32 edge on the scoreboard after the first two minutes of the half. Not backing down, the Lady Lions continued to be game as they went on a 16-7 run over the next seven and half minutes to close the game to a four point spread at 52-48, before the Lions made some timely baskets and got strong defense to put the game away.
After Lindenwood got to within three at 54-51 with 7:30 to play, Southern went on a quick 7-0 run over a two-minute stretch to build their lead back to a 10-point cushion as Phillips scored five points in that critical stretch. The Lions continued to build their lead as they scored seven of the next nine points scored as four different Lions got points to take their largest lead of the game at 68-53 with 1:50 to go as they finished out the 72-61 win.
Last time out for the Blue Tigers (3-11, 0-7 MIAA): Fort Hays State held a big edge in rebounds and applied tough defensive pressure to hand the Lincoln women's basketball team a 98-54 loss on Saturday (Jan. 11).
FHSU out-rebounded the Blue Tigers, 50-27, and scored 22 second-chance points en route to the win. Lincoln was held to 20-for-58 shooting (.345) from the floor and 4-for-14 shooting (.286) from beyond the arc. The Blue Tigers scored 13 points off 13 FHSU turnovers, but had 11 shots blocked and scored only nine points off offensive rebounds.
Hunter Yoakum led Lincoln with 18 points, one shy of her season-high, and grabbed three rebounds while tallying a steal. Jennifer Rosado added 10 points for her fourth-straight double-digit point performance and her seventh such outing in her past 11 games. Rosado also contributed four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Nesha Wright ended her day two-points shy of double figures, scoring eight to go with four boards and a steal. Jaleisha Barrett led LU with five rebounds, scored six points and tallied a block, a steal and an assist. Kieanna Wharton added four points and two rebounds in nine minutes of work.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (11-3) is in her 13th year on the staff at Missouri Southern and was promoted to the position of Interim Head Coach on July 2, 2013 after the retirement of Maryann Mitts. During her 12 years with the Lions, she has helped the team to a 189-145 record, including winning marks and a trip to the MIAA post season tournament in all but one of those 12 seasons. In 2000-01, Hubbard helped the University of Texas-Pan American post its most wins in a season since becoming an NCAA Division I institution in 1985, and the second most victories in school history. Prior to her stint at Texas-Pan American, she served on current Lions head coach Maryann Mitts' staff as an assistant at Rockhurst University from 1996-2000. There, she helped the Lady Hawks post a 68-45 record and advance to the 1997-98 Sweet 16.
Nicole Collier (14-27) is in her second season as the head coach of the Lincoln women's basketball team and enters this afternoon's game with a 14-27 overall record. In her first year on the job, Collier led the team to 11 wins and its second-consecutive berth in the MIAA Women's Basketball Championship tournament. The season was highlighted by an appearance on the MIAA Network, where Lincoln defeated a Northeastern State team that was receiving votes in the national coaches poll, 54-49. Under Collier's guidance, two Blue Tigers earned All-MIAA recognition.
The series between the two schools: Southern leads the overall series with Lincoln 24-5. The Lions hold a 12-1 advantage at home, but the Blue Tigers took the most recent matchup at L&P winning 67-66 on December 10, 2011. Southern won the lone game between the two teams last year winning 67-55 in Jefferson City.
Scouting Lincoln: The Blue Tigers have got off to a rough start to MIAA play, but have been in most of their games, including a narrow eight-point loss at Washburn. The Blue Tigers are averaging 59.5 points per game while shooting 35.3% from the field. Lincoln is led in scoring by junior guard Jennifer Rosado who is averaging 11.6 points per game while freshman guard Hunter Yoakum is averaging 11.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Angela Randall is leading LU in rebounds with 6.0 boards per game while averaging 9.2 points per game.
Lions receiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the second consecutive week, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering 12 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State and Central Missouri, Fort Hays State moved into the rankings this week at #23, while Pittsburg State also received votes with three votes.
Lions are undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have more assists (10-0), have fewer turnovers (8-0) and make more free throws and score 80+ points (6-0).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.760), 2nd in FG percentage (.454), 3rd in rebounding defense (33.8 rpg), & steals (9.4 spg), 5th in scoring defense (65.6), scoring margin (+8.6) & assists (16.4) and 6th in scoring offense (74.3 ppg (66.0) & 3-point FG percentage defense (.300).
MIAA Individual Rankings: Samantha Soyez is second in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.8 apg as she has dished 62 helpers in 13 games. Alexis Fitzpatrick ranks 4th averaging 4.2 apg.
Jones ranks 4th in the MIAA in FT percentage at 81.3% (78-96). Nicole Hartzog is 5th at 80.4% (45-56).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.9 swipes per game. She is 5th in the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio at 2.4. Hartzog is tied for second in steals with 2.0 spg.
Mosley ranks 4th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 16.1 ppg. Jones is 10th at 14.2 ppg. Clay is 17th with 12.6 ppg.
Mosley is 10th in rebounds grabbing 7.4 rpg. Jones is 11th w/ 7.3 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 21st in the country in field goal percentage shooting 45.4% from the field. Leading the MIAA in free-throw percentage, Southern ranks 23rd in the country in free-throw percentage shooting 76% from the charity stripe on the year. Fitzpatrick ranks 10th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio while ranking 24th in steals. Soyez ranks 35th in assists at 4.8 assists per game.