Joplin, Mo. - After taking a two-week hiatus for the holidays, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team returns to MIAAMade it back! action on Saturday hosting the Fort Hays State Tigers at 1:00 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Teams: Missouri Southern (8-2, 2-1 MIAA) vs. Fort Hays State (8-1, 2-1)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: FHSU leads 23-16 (Home: 12-7, Away: 4-16)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (8-2 at MSSU, overall). Tony Hobson (89-60 at Fort Hays State, 502-166 overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Last time out for the Lions (8-2, 2-1 MIAA): Despite a tie score at halftime, the Missouri Southern women's basketball fell 77-56 on Saturday (Dec. 21) afternoon to the third-ranked Emporia State Lady Hornets at William L. White Auditorium.
Southern (8-2, 2-1 MIAA) was led in scoring by leading scorer Dominique Mosley, who finished with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field. Shawnee Phillips and Alexis Fitzpatrick added 11 points each. Fitzpatrick added a team-high five assists while Nicole Hartzog grabbed a team-high five rebounds. The Lions shot 18-of-48 (.375) from the field while hitting 17-of-27 (.630) from the free-throw line.
With the score tied at 24 at half, the teams split the first eight points in the first minute of the second half and with the game knotted at 28, it was off to the races from their for the Lady Hornets as they went on 12-4 run in the next three minutes to open up a 40-32 lead. Southern slowed down the Hornets momentarily before Sharese Jones hit a free-throw and a jumper from Tee Singleton cut the lead to five. Emporia proceeded to go on another 18-8 over the next six and half minutes to take a 58-43 lead. The Lions responded with a 6-3 of their own to cut the lead to 61-49 after a pair of free throws from Fitzpatrick with 7:30 to play, but that was as close as Southern would get as the Lady Hornets ended the game on 16-7 run to win by final margin of 77-56.
Last time out for the Tigers (8-1, 2-1): Fort Hays State University used a 10-0 run to start double overtime en route to a 79-69 victory over Northwest Missouri State on Saturday (Dec. 21). FHSU shot just 39.7 from the field, and struggled at the line, hitting 11 of 21 free throws attempts. FHSU's defense, however, forced 22 turnovers and limited NWMSU to a 38.4 field goal percentage.
Kate Lehman powered the Tigers by putting up 21 points and 17 rebounds for her sixth straight double-double. Chelsea Mason led the team with 23 points, including five in the opening minute of double overtime, tossing in three assists in the effort.
With the score tied at 25 at half, the teams would play relatively even in the second half until 10:17, when with the Tigers leading 42-38, the Bearcats started an 11-0 run that gave them a seven-point advantage, 49-42 before Taylor Chandler's layup stopped the run with 7:27 to go in regulation.
With the score tied at 57 at the end of regulation, in the first overtime, NWMSU's Tember Schechinger hit a layup with 16 seconds to go, giving the Bearcats a 65-64 lead. Beth Bohuslavsky, however, drove and drew a foul with seven seconds remaining. The sophomore guard would hit 1-of-2 from the line, sending the game to a second overtime period. Kacperska hit a three-pointer just 21 seconds into double overtime, starting a 10-0 run that sealed the win for FHSU - helped by five points from Mason. Four free throws from Bohuslavsky held the Bearcats at bay in the final minute of action.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (8-2) 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.
Tony Hobson (502-166) is in his sixth season as head coach of the Fort Hays State women's basketball program in 2013-14 and 22nd season overall. FHSU enjoyed its best season under Hobson in 2012-13, going 22-7 overall. FHSU appeared in the WBCA Division II national rankings for the first time since 1996-97. The Tigers finished in a tie for fifth in the MIAA regular season standings and reached the semifinals of the MIAA Tournament. FHSU recorded its first two wins in the MIAA Tournament since joining the conference with victories in the opening round and quarterfinals. The Tigers posted back-to-back seasons of at least 20 wins for the first time since the 2004-05 & 2005-06 seasons.
The series between the schools: Fort Hays State leads the overall series with the Lions 23-16. Southern holds a 12-7 advantage at home, but are only 4-16 on the road. The Lions have won four of their last five home games against the Tigers with their most recent win at home coming on January 10, 2011 when they won 59-57 in overtime.
Scouting Fort Hays State: The Tigers come into Saturday's game with a 8-1 overall, 2-1 in the MIAA with wins over Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri and their lone loss coming at 8th-ranked Central Missouri on December 5. Fort Hays is lead in both scoring and rebounding by junior center Kate Lehman who averages 15.9 points per game and a league-leading 11.8 rebounds per game. Lehman also averages a MIAA-best 5.6 blocks per game while ranking second in field goal percentage shooting 60.5% on the season. Senior guard Katelyn Edwards is also having a very strong season averaging 14.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg to go along with 2.8 assists per game.
The Tigers rank atop the MIAA in multiple team categories, including scoring offense (86.4 ppg), scoring defense (55.9 ppg), scoring margin (30.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense holding opponents to only 35.1% shooting from the field on the year. The Tigers also lead the MIAA in rebounding grabbing 48.6 boards per game, blocks (8 bpg), assists (18.8 apg), steals (12.0 spg), turnover margin (9.6 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.769), tied for 2nd in FG percentage (.462), 4th in assists per game (16.7), 5th in scoring margin (+10.4 ppg.), rebounding defense (34.6 rpg) & assist/turnover ratio (1.0). and 6th in scoring offense (75.2 ppg.)
MIAA Individual Rankings: Samantha Soyez continues to lead the MIAA in assists averaging 5.4 apg as she has dished 49 helpers in nine games. Alexis Fitzpatrick ranks 4th averaging 4.3 apg.
Shonte Clay ranks 3rd in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 57.9% from the field hitting 44-76 on the year. Dominique Mosley ranks 6th hitting 54.5% (73-134). Sharese Jones is 9th at 52.4% (44-84).
Nicole Hartzog leads the MIAA in free-throw percentage at .909% hitting 30-of-33 on the year. Jones ranks 6th at .815% (53-65).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.4 swipes per game. She also ranks 2nd in the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio at 4.3 as she has 43 assists and only 10 turnovers.
Jones ranks 3rd in the league in rebounding grabbing 8.6 rpg. Mosley is 8th grabbing 7.6 rpg.
Mosley ranks 4th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 18.0 ppg. Jones is 9th at 14.6 ppg. Clay is 20th with 11.7 ppg. Hartzog is 27th with 10.8 ppg.