Joplin, Mo. - After winning their fourth straight game on Wednesday, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team returns home to host the Missouri Western Griffons in their annual Pink Game on Saturday afternoon as the Lions will don pink jerseys to raise money for breast cancer research. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Teams: RV) Missouri Southern (13-3, 7-2 MIAA) vs. Missouri Western (7-9, 2-7)
Date:Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m., CT
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: MWSU leads 51-29 (Home: 21-18, Away: 8-31, Neutral: 0-2)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (13-3 at MSSU, overall). Rob Edmisson (23-21 at MWSU, 427-141 overall).
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Last time out for the Lions (13-3, 7-2 MIAA): Using a balanced scoring attack that saw five Lions finish in double figures, the Missouri Southern women's basketball held off the hard-charging Northwest Missouri Bearcats for a 80-74 victory tonight (Jan. 22) at Bearcat Arena.
Winning their fourth straight game, the Lions (13-3, 7-2 MIAA) were led in scoring by sophomore guard Sharese Jones who finished with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Jones also grabbed six rebounds and went 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Shonte Clay added 19 points and six rebounds of her own while Dominique Mosley chipped in 17 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Mosley was nearly perfect from the charity stripe hitting 9-of-10 from the line on the evening. Shawnee Phillips and Nicole Hartzog also each finished in double figures as they recorded 11 and 10 points, respectively.
With the game tied at 29 at the break, both teams continued to battle in the second half as neither side backed down in the first 12 minutes of the second half as Southern held a narrow 58-57 lead. After a free throw from NWMSU's Ariel Easton made it a 60-58 game, Clay answered with a pair of free throws and a layup to open up a six-point lead with 6:23 to play. After a three-pointer by Phillips extended the Lions lead to 69-61, Southern closed out the game with nine free throws and a layup from Mosley to take home the 80-74 victory.
Last time out for the Griffons (7-9, 2-7): The Missouri Western bench scored 40 of the Griffons 63 points leading them to the 63-38 victory over Missouri Valley. Thirteen different Griffons scored in the game as they improve to 7-9 on the season.
The Griffons used 16 bench points and 13 second chance points claiming the 29-12 halftime lead over the Vikings. The Griffons scored the first eight points of the game as Tiffanie Abrams hit two early long range shots. The Griffons extended their lead to 11 at 14-3 after a Cassey Sobaski jumper with 10:46 to play in the first frame. The Vikings responded cutting the Griffons lead to 14-7 just a couple minutes later after a Rayna Smith jumper. The rest of the half belonged to the Griffons outscoring the Vikings 15-4 to take the 17 point lead into the break.
The Griffons made 11-of-30 field goals and all four of their free throws. Nine different Griffons scored in the frame with Abrams leading the way with six points. The Griffons forced 14 turnovers which led to 13 points. The Vikings struggled offensively making just 3-of-23 field goals which included 0-of-7 from long range. The Vikings did make 6-of-8 free throws. The second half was similar to the first as neither team shot the ball very well. The Griffons outscored the Vikings 34-26 in the frame leading by as many as 26 four different times in the half.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (13-3) 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.
Rob Edmisson (427-141) is in his second season as the women's basketball coach. Edmisson guided the Griffons to a 16-12 overall record and an 8-10 record in MIAA play during his first season. He helped the Griffons win an MIAA Tournament game by defeating Pittsburg State 71-67 on March 5, 2013 in Pittsburg, Kan. He also coached second team All-MIAA selection Heather Howard and honorable mention selection Alicia Bell. He came to Western from Oklahoma City University where he coached from 2005-12. Edmisson led OCU's rich women's basketball tradition, leading the Stars to five Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championships, five conference tournament titles and seven NAIA Division I tournaments in seven seasons with the Stars.
The series between the two schools: The Griffons lead the overall series 51-29, but the Lions hold a 21-18 edge at home and have won six consecutive games dating back to December 30, 2009. The Lions won last year's lone matchup 78-76 at L&P on January 5, 2013 as Sharese Jones led Southern with 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Scouting Missouri Western: The Griffons bring a strong defense with them into Saturday's game as they rank 4th in the MIAA in scoring defense allowing only 60.6 points per game. They rank 2nd in defending the 3-pointer as opponents only hit 27.3% per game beyond the arc. Western is also stingy in field goal defense ranking 4th as they hold opponents to 37.3% from the field. On the offensive side of the ball, they average 63.8 ppg while shooting 39.1% from the field, 27.3% from 3-point range and 59.4% from the free-throw line. The Griffons are led in scoring by senior forward Sharniece Lewis who averages 9.1 ppg and Tiara Hall who averages a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game.
Lions receiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the third consecutive week, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering 17 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State and Central Missouri, Fort Hays State is in the rankings for the second straight week at #24, while Pittsburg State also received votes with two votes. With a win on Saturday, the Lions may move into the top 25 for the first time since January 8, 2008 when they were tied for 23rd and spent four weeks that season in the top 25.
Lions are undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have more assists (12-0), have fewer turnovers (9-0), score 80+ points (8-0) and make more free throws (7-0).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.466), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.745) & rebounding defense (32.9 rpg), 3rd in steals (9.6 spg), assists (16.1 apg) & 3-pt. percentage (.329), 4th in scoring margin (+9.4), 5th in scoring defense (65.9), and 6th in scoring offense (75.4 ppg).
Shonte Clay ranks 2nd in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 60.0% from the field hitting 84-140. Sharese Jones is 6th at 54.8% (69-126). Dominique Mosley ranks 10th hitting 50.8% (98-193).
Jones ranks 4th in the MIAA in FT percentage at 80.2% (89-111). Hartzog is 5th at 77.4% (48-62).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.9 swipes per game. She is 5th in the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio at 2.2 and minutes played averging 31.3 mpg. Hartzog is second in steals with 2.2 spg.
Mosley ranks 6th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 15.6 ppg. Jones is 7th at 14.8 ppg. Clay is 16th with 13.2 ppg. Hartzog is 27th with 11.1 ppg.
Mosley is 11th in boards grabbing 7.4 rpg. Jones is 12th with 7.2 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 11th in the country in field goal percentage shooting 46.6% from the field and 40th in the country in free-throw percentage shooting 74.5% from the charity stripe on the year. Fitzpatrick ranks 12th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) while ranking 24th in steals (2.9). Clay ranks 12th in the country in FG percentage (60.0%). Soyez ranks 57th in assists at 4.5 assists per game.