Joplin, Mo. - Narrowly missing out on entering the USA Today WBCA Top 25 for the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team will look to win its sixth straight game as they venture out on the road on Thursday traveling to Southwest Baptist to face the Bearcats at 5:30 p.m.
Teams: RV) Missouri Southern (14-3, 8-2 MIAA) vs. Southwest Baptist (8-9, 3-7)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m., CT
Site: Meyer Sports Center (3,000)
Series Record: MSSU leads 39-20 (Home: 25-5, Away: 14-15)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (14-3 at MSSU, overall). Todd Voss (28-42 at SBU, 136-74 overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Last time out for the Lions (14-3, 8-2): Winning their fifth straight game and staying unbeaten at home on the season, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team powered past the Missouri Western Griffons 65-50 this afternoon at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Wearing pink jerseys to raise money for breast cancer research, the Lions (14-3, 8-2 MIAA) were led in scoring by Dominique Mosley who finished with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field as they improved to 10-0 at L&P this year. Two other Lions finished in double figures as Shonte Clay and Sharese Jones added 10 points apiece. Samantha Soyez added seven points and a game-high six assists, while Kristen Hanna scored a season-high six points.
With Southern taking a 27-22 lead into the halftime break, the Lions came out of the break scoring 10 of the first 15 points of the second half to take a 37-27 lead, Western hung tough with a 6-0 run to cut Southern's lead to 37-33. The Lions responded with a 9-1 run capped by a layup from Nicole Hartzog with 8:07 to go to take a 46-34 advantage. After a pair of free throws by Western's Lewis cut Southern's lead to 49-44 with 5:30 to go, the Lions finished the game on a 16-6 run to win by a final of 65-50. That final run by Southern featured scores by five Lions led by five points from Alexis Fitzpatrick and four from Molsey.
Last time out for the Bearcats (8-9, 3-7): The Southwest Baptist University women hosted Lincoln University Saturday afternoon in Meyer Sports Center. Freshman Alex Botkin had a breakout game as she posted a career high 15 points helping the Bearcats mount a dynamic second half comeback to knock off Lincoln 66-58. The Bearcats where able to gather themselves after going into the half down 34-25 as they controlled the pace on their way to a much needed conference win.
The game started off with a plethora of fouls as the SBU women matched up against the Lincoln Blue Tigers perimeter attack. The Bearcats saw themselves down 16-7 halfway through the first half before going into halftime trailing by 9 points (34-25). Senior Jacqui Zelenka led the way for the Bearcats at the half way point with six points and five rebounds.
The SBU women started off the second half with intensity as they controlled the pace and cut Lincoln's lead to 7 points (42-35) through the first five minutes of the second have. Going into the second media timeout you could tell it was going to be a fight to the finish as the Bearcats were down only 4 points (48-44) with 9:15 remaining in the game. The Bearcats continued to charge as a three pointer from Alex Botkin with 8:21 left in the game gave the SBU women their first lead of the second half (49-48). SBU maintained the momentum as they went on a 17-10 run to complete the second half comeback over Lincoln 66-58.
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.
Todd Voss (136-74) is currently in his 3rd season at the helm of the Southwest Baptist women's basketball program. With a record of 28-42 (.400) record as the head coach of the Bearcats, Voss has a career record of 136-74 (.648) as a head coach after coaching at Concordia University-Seward for four years from 2002-2006. Before taking over at SBU, Voss spent five years as an assistant coach at Division I Drake, where he was involved in player development, tutoring post players, game preparation, and recruiting. The Bulldogs went 86-72 during his tenure in Des Moines, including going 23-14 in 2007-08.
The series between the two schools: The Lions hold a 39-20 advantage over Southwest Baptist going 25-5 at home, but are only 14-15 in Bolivar. Southern won last year's only matchup in Joplin 69-63. The Lions last won at SBU on December 18, 2010 taking home a 69-66 win and have split the last four meetings in Bolivar dating back to 07-08.
Scouting the Bearcats: The Southwest Baptist women sport a 8-9 overall record, 3-7 in MIAA coming off a win over Lincoln at home last Saturday. The Bearcats rank first in the MIAA in free throw percentage (.760), 2nd in assists (16.0), 6th in rebounding (40.2) and 8th in scoring offense (71.6), field goa (.422)l and three-point percentage (.319). They are led in scoring by Brooke Duncan with 14.2 ppg., while Jacqui Zelenka leads the team in rebounds with eight per game and she adds 13 points per game. Guard Dilonna Johnson leads the MIAA in assists in 5.0.
Lions receiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the fourth consecutive week, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering 41 votes, missing out on entering the top 25 by one spot as they were 13 shy of #25 Adelphi University (N.Y.). Along with top ten ranked Emporia State, Central Missouri is #12, while Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State also received votes.
Lions are undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have more assists (13-0), have fewer turnovers (9-0), score 80+ points (8-0), make more free throws (8-0) and allow less than 59 points (6-0).
MIAA Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.472), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.743) & rebounding defense (33.3 rpg), 3rd in steals (9.5 spg),& 3-pt. percentage (.329), 4th in scoring margin (+9.8), 5th in scoring defense (65.0) & assists (15.8 apg) , and 6th in scoring offense (74.8 ppg).
MIAA Individual Rankings: Shonte Clay tied for the top FG percentage in the MIAA as she is shooting 60.4% from the field hitting 87-144. Sharese Jones is 6th at 55.0% (72-131). Dominique Mosley ranks 7th hitting 52.0% (104-200).
Samantha Soyez is 2nd in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.6 apg as she has dished 73 helpers in 16 games. Alexis Fitzpatrick is tied for 4th averaging 3.9 apg.
Jones ranks 4th in the MIAA in FT percentage at 79.5% (93-117). Hartzog is 5th at 77.4% (48-62). Clay is 8th (75.8%) and Mosley is 10th (74%).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.8 swipes per game. She is 5th in the MIAA in minutes played averging 31.2 mpg. Hartzog is 2nd in steals with 2.2 spg.
Mosley ranks 6th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 15.4 ppg. Jones is 8th at 14.5 ppg. Clay is 16th with 13.0 ppg. Hartzog is 29th with 10.6 ppg.
Mosley is 11th in boards grabbing 7.2 rpg. Jones is 13th with 6.9 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 9th in the country in field goal percentage shooting 47.2% from the field and are 41st in the country in free-throw percentage shooting 74.3% from the charity stripe on the year. Clay ranks 11th in the country in FG percentage (60.4%) while Mosley checks in at 50th (52.0%). Fitzpatrick ranks 28th in the country in steals (2.76) and 39th in assist-turnover ratio (1.86). Soyez ranks 47th in assists at 4.6 assists per game.