January 25, 2013

Southern women's basketball hosts MIAA newcomer Northeastern State Saturday

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Joplin, Mo. - Trying to snap a three game slide, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team looks to get back on the winning track on Saturday afternoon when they host new MIAA conference member Northeastern State at 1:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

The Lions last time out (10-6, 4-4 MIAA): Despite a career-high 17 points from Dominique Molsey, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team was unable to overcome hot shooting from behind the three-point line by Emporia State falling to the Lady Hornets 68-52 Wednesday night at White Auditorium.

With Shatara Stone chipping in 12 points and Shonte Clay adding eight points and six rebounds, the Lions got off to a hot start to open the game jumping out to a 6-0 lead through the first three plus minutes of play thanks to four quick points from Stone.

With the Lady Hornets up by nine at the halftime break, the Lions would begin to heat things up from the field in the second half as Mosley would score eight of Southern's first 16 points of the half to cut the Lady Hornet's lead to six (41-35). Emporia would extend their lead to 11 (51-40), before a 6-0 run from the Lions would cut the lead to five at 51-46 with 7:12 to play.

Unfortunately for Southern, that would be as close as the Lions would get as the Lady Hornets finished the evening on a 17-6 run to take the 16-point victory over the Lions.

The Riverhawks last time out (12-5, 7-2 MIAA): The Northeastern State women's basketball team defeated No. 18 Pittsburg State 65-50 Wednesday night inside Jack Dobbins Field House.

Senior guards Tosha Tyler and Taylor Lewis combined for 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting. Tyler scored 19 and Lewis poured in 17, while adding seven rebounds and five assists. Senior forward Sarah Green recorded six points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

Northeastern State shot 44 percent (26-for-59) from both the field and from behind the three-point line (7-for-16). The team made all six free throws attempted. NSU also recorded 15 assists and a season-low five turnovers, while tying the taller Gorillas in rebounds, 36-36. The RiverHawks (12-5, 7-2 MIAA) added to their growing list of defeated ranked teams, which now includes No. 9 Washburn, No. 10 Fort Hays State, No. 21 Emporia State, and the No. 18-ranked Gorillas.

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 185-138 (.573) record in 12 years with the Lions. She holds a 268-194 (.580) 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.

Randy Gipson is currently in his 14th season at the helm of the Northeastern State women's basketball program. With a record of 271-126 record as the head coach of the RiverHawks, he has never recorded a losing season in his 13 prior campaigns at NSU, and he has led his program to seven appearances in the NCAA Championship.

The Series between the two schools: Northeastern State leads the overall series with Southern 13-9 with their last matchup coming on November 22, 2010 in Joplin with the RiverHawks topping the Lions 67-50. Senior Erin Rice finished that game with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three-point line. The Lions hold a 7-4 advantage at home, but are only 1-9 in Talequah, Okla., while winning the only neutral court matchup in 1981.