Joplin, Mo. - After dropping a nail-bitting two-point defeat at Central Oklahoma on Wednesday, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team looks to rebound on Saturday when they travel to Northeastern State to face the RiverHawks at 1:30 p.m. at the NSU Event Center.
Teams: Missouri Southern (9-3, 3-2 MIAA) vs. Northeastern State RiverHawks (6-6, 3-2)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:30 p.m., CT
Location: Tahlequah, Okla.
Site: NSU Event Center (3,100)
Series Record: NSU leads 15-9 (Home: 7-5, Away: 1-10, Neutral: 1-0)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (9-3 at MSSU, overall). Randy Gipson (284-136 at Northeastern State, 574-213 overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/nsuok/wbball/
Live Video: http://www.americaonesports.com/partner_members.asp?id=293
Lions on Facebook: Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports
Last time out for the Lions (9-3, 3-2 MIAA): A late pair of free throws by Central Oklahoma sealed a win for the Bronchos as the Missouri Southern women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 62-60 decision at the Hamilton Field House Wednesday (Jan. 8) night.
Taking a 38-31 lead into the break, and 7-0 on the year when leading at the break, the Lions looked to put the game away in the second half, but were unable to shake the Bronchos as UCO opened the first five minutes on an 11-3 run to take a 42-41 lead. The Lions responded with a layup from Phillips and a three pointer from Fitzpatrick to re-take a four point lead (46-42) with 13:52 to play. UCO answered with a 9-0 run over the next three and half minutes to take a 51-46 lead before Clay and Kenya Brown pulled Southern back within one at 51-50 with 7:52 to go.
UCO held the lead for the next five and half minutes before a three pointer from Nicole Hartzog tied the game up at 57. The teams traded a pair of layups over the next minute and half as Jones hit a layup with 54 seconds to go to tie the game at 59, before the Bronchos' Bryan hit a free throw and Mason hit two more to take a three-point lead. Phillips hit one final free throw with two seconds left, but it was too little too late as Southern was the hard-luck loser.
Last time out for the RiverHawks (6-6, 3-2): The Northeastern State women's basketball team used a strong defensive effort to defeat Southwest Baptist 60-47 Thursday evening (Jan. 9) inside the NSU Event Center. The RiverHawks (6-6, 3-2 MIAA) were competing in their first contest of 2014, and they held the Bearcats (6-6, 1-4 MIAA) to their lowest shooting percentage since Jan. 22, 2011.
NSU was led by freshman forward Che'Ron Lewis, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Senior forward Carrington Fox registered her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Northeastern State shot 38 percent (18-for-48) from the field, 27 percent (4-for-15) from downtown and 80 percent (20-for-25) at the line. Southwest Baptist shot 22 percent (15-for-67) from the field, 19 percent (5-for-26) from beyond the arc and 86 percent (12-for-14). Jacqui Zelenka and Leann Lansdown both paced the visitors with 13 points each.
NSU outrebounded SBU 45-42 and held a 26-9 advantage in bench points. The 47 points scored by the Bearcats was the fewest since NSU held the team to 43 last season (Jan. 12, 2013). Northeastern State led 25-21 at halftime and stretched its lead out to 34-24 eight minutes into the second half. SBU got to within six at 51-45 with 2:17 to play, but NSU used a 9-2 run to close the game and earn the winning 13-point margin.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (9-3) 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.
Randy Gipson (574-213) is currently in his 15th campaign at the helm of the Northeastern State women's basketball program. He has never recorded a losing season in his 14 prior campaigns at NSU, and he has led his program to seven appearances in the NCAA Championship. His NSU women's basketball teams have earned two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances (2004, '10), while advancing to the NCAA Second Round two of the last three seasons (2011-12). He has coached two All-Americans (Jasmine Webb, Taylor Lewis), one MIAA Player of the Year, two LSC Players of the Year and numerous all-conference players during his tenure at Northeastern State.
The series between the two schools: The RiverHawks lead the overall series with the Lions 15-9. Southern holds a 7-5 edge at home, but are only 1-10 at NSU with their lone win coming on December 17, 2007 with a 70-62 win. Northeastern State took both games last year as the RiverHawks won 69-45 at L&P and then won 56-48 at NSU. Nicole Hartzog averaged 10 points in the pair of games while Dominique Mosley averaged 7.5 points and 6.5 boards in the pair of games.
Scouting Northeastern State: Fresh off a home win over Southwest Baptist on Thursday, the RiverHawks bring a 6-6 overall record into Saturday's game going 3-2 in MIAA action with wins over SBU, Missouri Western and Lincoln with losses to #6 Central Missouri and Lindenwood. The RiverHawks rank in the top five in the MIAA several categories, including scoring defense (4th - 59.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (4th - 37.6%), blocked shots (4th - 3.7 bpg), 3-pt field goal percentage (5th - 32.8%), 3-pt field goal percentage defense (T5th - 29.2%). Offensively, NSU is led by junior guard Fontana Tate who leads the team with 12.2 ppg. Freshman Forward Che'Ron leads the team in rebounds averaging 6.0 per game while averaging 9.3 ppg.
Lions receiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the first time this season, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering 14 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State and Central Missouri, the Lions and Fort Hays State are currently the only ranked MIAA teams.
Lions are undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have more assists (8-0), have fewer turnovers (7-0), make more free throws (6-0), score 80+ points and allow less than 59 points (5-0).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.765), 2nd in FG percentage (.455), 4th in assists per game (16.3), 4th in scoring margin (+9.9 ppg.), rebounding defense (35.0 rpg) & steals (9.3 spg), 5th in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). and 7th in scoring offense (75.3 ppg.).
Shonte Clay ranks 6th in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 56.2% from the field hitting 50-89 on the year. Dominique Mosley ranks 10th hitting 53.8% (78-145). Sharese Jones is 11th at 53.4% (47-88).
Nicole Hartzog ranks 3rd in the MIAA in FT percentage at 84.3% hitting 43-of-51 on the year. Jones ranks 7th at 80% (64-80).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.4 swipes per game. She also leads the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio at 3.5 as she has 46 assists and only 13 turnovers.
Jones ranks 4th in the league in rebounding grabbing 8.3 rpg. Mosley is 10th grabbing 7.3 rpg.
Mosley ranks 4th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 17.5 ppg. Jones is 10th at 14.9 ppg. Clay is 20th with 11.9 ppg. Hartzog is 26th w/ 11.0 ppg.