Joplin, Mo. - After losing a hard-fought contest at Southwest Baptist on Thursday, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team will look to bounce back quicky as they stay on the road traveling to #12 Central Missouri to battle the Jennies at 1:30 p.m. from UCM Multipurpose Building.
Teams: (RV) Missouri Southern (14-4, 8-3 MIAA) vs. #12 Central Missouri (15-3, 9-2)
Date:Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:30 p.m., CT
Site: UCM Multipurpose Building (8,500)
Series Record: UCM leads 33-20 (Home: 13-13, Away: 6-18, Neutral: 1-2)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (14-4 at MSSU, overall). Dave Silfer (184-100 at UCM, 576-199 overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Last time out for the Lions (14-4, 8-3 MIAA): Southwest Baptist went on a 13-7 run over the final two minutes of the game tonight to defeat the Missouri Southern women's basketball team 83-78 at the Meyer Sports Center in Bolivar.
Southern (14-4, 8-3 MIAA) had four score in double-figures led by 18 points from Sharese Jones on 7-12 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line. Jones added seven rebounds and three assists. Shonte Clay scored 15 and added six boards, while Samantha Soyez scored 12 and Alexis Fitzpatrick added ten. With the Lions leading 37-35 at the halftime break, Southern started the second half with five-straight points, a three from Fitzpatrick and a fast-break layup from Phillips, forcing an SBU timeout. The Bearcats answered back with a 9-3 run of their own to cut the Lions' lead to one (45-44) at the first media timeout.
A layup from SBU's Morgan Lucy tied the score at 51 with just under 12 minutes left, and a free-throw from Leann Lansdown with 11:04 gave the Bearcats a 52-51 lead. A freebie from Soyez tied the game with 10:20 left, one from Dominique Mosley with 9:28 left gave Southern a 53-52 lead. Both teams traded leads for the next seven minutes before SBU went on an 8-0 run, capped off by a pair of free-throws from Alex Botkin to take a 78-71 lead with 43.8 seconds to go. The Bearcats would hold on for the win down the stretch.
Last time out for the #12 Jennies (15-3, 9-2): The No. 12 Jennies saw their 21-game win streak at home come to an end on Saturday, falling to Lindenwood, 65-64 on the game's final possession.
UCM started the second half scoring the first three points courtesy of Revonnia Howard who made a layup and split a pair of free throws. However, an 8-3 spurt by Lindenwood over the next 2:24 put the Jennies in a 10-point hole. Morgan Johnson tripled to bump Lindenwood's lead to five at 61-56 with 3:34 to go. Keuna Flax drew a foul on the next Jennies' possession and hit both free throws to make it a three-point game. UCM forced a Lindenwood turnover on the next possession and Flax hit a jumper to make the score, 61-60 with 2:34 left in the game.
UCM took its first lead since early in the first half when Brielle Wattley drove to the basket and scored to put the Jennies ahead, 62-61 with 1:51 left. The lead did not last long as Bourlioux answered with a jumper to give Lindenwood the lead back at 63-62 with 1:38 on the clock. The Jennies took their last lead of the game when Lewis was fouled and hit two free-throws on the ensuing possession. Lindenwood scored the eventual game-winning basket with 1:03 left following a layup by Lehnig, putting Lindenwood back in front, 65-64.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (14-4) 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.
Dave Slifer (567-199) is in his 10th season at the helm of the Jennies, compiling a 184-100 (.648) record at UCM. He was named the WBCA Central Region Coach of the Year following the 2012-13 season after leading the Jennies to a 24-6 record and their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four seasons. Slifer picked up his 500th career victory in 2010-11, in a narrow 56-53 win at Missouri Western. He is the sixth-winningest active coach in NCAA Division II women's basketball with a 567-199 (.740) overall record.
The series between the two schools: The Jennies lead the overall series between the two schools 33-20. The teams have split 13-13 in Joplin, but Southern has only gone 6-18 in Warrensburg. UCM won last year's lone matchup 74-63 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Southern last won at Central on January 28, 2009 when they took home a 72-65 victory.
Scouting Central Missouri: The Jennies rank 2nd in the MIAA in scoring offense, 4th in field goal percentage and 5th in rebounds. They are led in scoring by MIAA leading scorer Keuna Flax who averages a league-high 20.6 ppg and leads the conference in field goal percentage shooting 60.4% from the field. Three other Jennies' average double figures including Revonnia Howard who ranks 3rd in the MIAA in rebounds averaging 8.7 rpg.
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.
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.470), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.747), steals (9.5 spg), rebounding defense (33.1 rpg) & 3-pt. percentage (.336), 4th in assists (15.8 apg), 5th in scoring margin (+8.9) & scoring offense (74.9) and 6th in scoring defense (66.0 ppg).
MIAA Individual Rankings: Shonte Clay is second in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 58.0% from the field hitting 91-157. Sharese Jones is 6th at 55.2% (79-143). Dominique Mosley ranks 8th hitting 51.2% (107-209).
Samantha Soyez is 2nd in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.4 apg as she has dished 74 helpers in 17 games. Alexis Fitzpatrick is tied for 4th averaging 3.9 apg.
Jones ranks 5th in the MIAA in FT percentage at 80.2% (97-121). Hartzog is 5th at 77.4% (48-62). Clay is 7th (77.1%) and Mosley is 14th (73.3%).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.7 swipes per game. She is 7th in the MIAA in minutes played averging 30.9 mpg. Hartzog is 2nd in steals with 2.2 spg.
Mosley ranks 6th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 14.49ppg. Jones is 7th at 14.7 ppg. Clay is 17th with 13.1 ppg. Hartzog is 28th with 10.6 ppg.
Jones is 13th in boards grabbing 6.9 rpg. Mosley is 14th with 6.9 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 10th in the country in field goal percentage shooting 47.0% from the field and are 37th in the country in free-throw percentage shooting 74.7% from the charity stripe on the year. Clay ranks 17th in the country in FG percentage (58.0%). Fitzpatrick ranks 33rd in the country in steals (2.67) and 31st in assist-turnover ratio (1.92).