Southern women close out non-conference action hosting William Woods Monday

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

Joplin, Mo. - After opening MIAA play at home last weekend with a pair of victories, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team closes out non-conference play on Monday hosting the William Woods Owls at 5:30 p.m. in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Game Information

Date: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: MSSU leads 6-4 (Home: 3-0, Away: 2-3, Neutral: 1-1)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (7-1 at MSSU, overall). Dan Chapla (134-38 at William Woods, 211-148 overall).

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Lions on Twitter: @mososports

Last time out for the Lions (7-1): Helping Missouri Southern women's basketball secure their first win over a ranked opponent since February 26, 2011, senior center Shonte Clay led four Lions in double figures as Southern downed No. 20 Washburn 68-59 this afternoon at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Clay finished with 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Also in double figures for the Lions (7-1, 2-0 MIAA) were Alexis Fitzpatrick, who finished with a career-best 16 points. Sharese Jones added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Dominique Mosley chipped in 11 points and six boards.

With the Lions up 33-28 at halftime, the Ichabods came out of the halftime break on fire as they reeled off the first seven points of the half to take their first lead since they started the game up 2-0. A three-pointer from Fitzpatrick ended Washburn's run as a free throw from Washburn tied the game at 36 before the teams traded three pointers to deadlock the game again at 39 with 16:04 to play. The Lions answered with a 21-8 run over the next nine and half minutes to take a 60-47 lead with 6:35 to play. That run featured 13 points from Clay, including eight straight points from the Chicago native.

Washburn refused to go away quietly as they responded with a 10-0 run over the ensuing 3:37 to pull within 60-57 with 2:58 to play. Southern answered back with a 6-0 run of their own to seal the game as Nicole Hartzog hit back-to-back layups and Fitzpatrick nailed a jumper to secure the win. A pair of late free throws from Jones iced the game as the Lions won their seventh consecutive game 68-59.

Last time out for the Owls (5-2): No. 13 Columbia College built a 20-point lead early in the second half that it would not relinquish, as they spoil No. 19-ranked William Woods University women's basketball team's American Midwest Conference opener, by defeating the Owls 76-61 at Anderson Arena on Thursday night (Dec.5).

Columbia College (3-3, 1-0 AMC) used an 11-2 run out of the break to push its 11-point half time lead to a game-high 22 points at 54-32. William Woods (5-2, 0-1 AMC) would fight back to pull within 10 at 63-53 with eight minutes to play, but they could never get the Columbia lead under to single-digits as they drop its conference opener by 15 points. William Woods shot a season-low 30 percent on 18-of-60 from the floor. The Owls were even worse from three-point land, where they shot a season-high 35 three pointers, yet connected on just 10 of them for 28.6 percent.

Juniors Blake French and Paige Stewart came off the bench to provide the Owls with 26 points, a team-high 16 points came from French, while Stewart chipped in with a season-high 10 points. Senior Katie Scherder earned her first double-double of the year by recording a 12-point, 10-rebound effort. Stephanie Copelin and Andraquay Quinnine also posted double-figures by scoring 10 and 11 respectively.

The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (7-1) 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.

Dan Chapla (134-38 at William Woods, 211-148 overall) is in his sixth year at William Woods University. He became the 10th William Woods University head women's basketball coach in school history during the summer of 2008. Chapla has guided the program to heights never before seen, as he has taken two teams to the NAIA Sweet Sixteen (2011, 2013) and has produced three NAIA All-Americans (Rachel Baker, Sharon Andrews, Priscila Santos). William Woods has won at least 20 games every season under the direction of Chapla, and has taken the Owls to the NAIA National Tournament for a school-record five consecutive years. Prior to arriving at WWU, Chapla was the head coach for six years at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. In addition, Chapla has been an assitant men's basketball coach at Ottawa University, Central Missouri and Culver-Stockton.

The series between the schools: The Lions hold a 6-4 edge over the Owls in their all-time meetings. The two schools have not met on the hardwood in nearly 25 seasons as their last match-up came on February 28, 1989 at the NAIA District 16 Tournament that ended the Lions season as William Woods won the game 79-70.  Southern is 3-0 at home, 2-3 on the road and the two schools have split a pair of meetings at a neutral site. Southern's last win over William Woods came at the McKendree College Tourney in Lebanon, Ill. on Nov. 21, 1986 as they won 55-52.

Scouting William Woods: The Owls come into Monday's game ranked 25th in the latest NAIA Coaches Poll having not played since December 5 when they fell in their first conference game at home to Columbia College (Mo. ) 76-61. WWU is led in scoring and rebounding by senior guard Katie Scherder, who is averaging a team-high 12.6 ppg and 6.9 rpg. The Owls average 71.3 points per game while allowing 62.6. They are shooting 40% from the field, 30.9% from three-point range and 76.2% from the free-throw line on the year.   

Lions sit atop MIAA standings: The Lions opened up MIAA play at home last weekend winning a pair of games over Nebraska-Kearney and #20 Washburn. They sit atop the MIAA standings as one of only two 2-0 teams with Lindenwood being the other.

MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.778), 2nd in FG percentage (.480), assists per game (17.5) & 3-pt FG defense (.274) and 4th in scoring offense (77.0 ppg.).

MIAA Individual Rankings: Samantha Soyez continues to lead the MIAA in assists averaging 6.0 apg as she has dished 48 helpers on the season. Shonte Clay leads the MIAA in FG perc. as she is shooting 70.0% from the field hitting 42-60 on the year. Nicole Hartzog ranks second in the MIAA in free-throw percentage at .963% hitting 26-of-27 on the year. Alexis Fitzpartick ranks second in the MIAA in assist/turnover ration at 4.9 as she has 34 assists and only seven turnovers on the year. Sharese Jones ranks third in the league in rebounding grabbing 9.4 rpg. Mosley is fifth grabbing 8.5 rpg. Mosley ranks third in the MIAA in scoring averaging 18.8 ppg.  Jones is 7th at 15.5 ppg. Clay is 14th with 13.4 ppg.