Joplin, Mo. - After winning an exciting overtime contest at Northeastern State last Saturday, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team returns to action at home on Wednesday hosting the Lindenwood Lady Lions at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Teams: Missouri Southern (10-3, 4-2 MIAA) vs. Lindenwood Lady Lions (8-6, 3-4)
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: MSSU leads 4-0 (Home: 2-0, Away: 2-0)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (10-3 at MSSU, overall). Tony Francis (50-48 at Lindenwood, overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
Live Stats: http://livestats.prestosports.com/mssu/
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 (10-3, 4-2 MIAA): Behind 34 points from the frontcourt tandem of Shonte Clay and Dominique Mosley, the Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team outscored Northeastern State 10-7 in overtime to take home a 80-77 win over the RiverHawks Saturday (Jan. 11) afternoon at the NSU Event Center.
With the Lions finishing the second half on a 11-5 run to only trail by three at halftime, Southern looked to continue their hot finish to the first half picking up right where they left off in the first five minutes of the second half going on a 16-6 run to take a 45-38 lead. That run featured a pair of three pointers from Fitzpatrick, six points from Mosley, and four from Jones. After a layup by Clay gave the Lions their largest lead of the game at 54-44, the RiverHawks responded with a 14-2 run of their own, including 12 straight, to re-take a 58-56 lead with 6:17 to play in regulation.
Working to get the momentum back, Fitzpatrick nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish going up 59-58. Scoring seven of the next 10 points, Southern opened up a 66-61 lead with 3:35 to play, but the RiverHawks would use two quick layups and a three-pointer from Courtney Cowan to tie the game at 68 with a minute to play. After NSU hit a pair of free throws, Clay again would come through with a big play as she hit a layup with 16 second to go to tie the game.
With the RiverHawks missing a chance to win the game at the buzzer, the game went to overtime where the Lions would seize control as Phillips scored six of the Lions ten points to secure the win.
Last time out for the Lady Lions (8-6, 3-4): Two of the hottest shooting women's basketball teams in the MIAA met in Hays, Kan. Thursday night (Jan. 9). For the second time this week, the Lady Lions started slowly against one of the top teams in the MIAA and lost 99-76 to the Tigers. After the Tigers turned the ball over on their final possession, the Lady Lions avoided allowing 100 points in a game for the first time since Nov. 15, 2008.
Freshman guard Kassidy Gengenbacher scored a team-high 20 points for the Lady Lions. It's the fourth time this season Gengenbacher has scored 20 or more points. She leads the Lady Lions in scoring with 14 points per game. Junior guard Julie Hlinak had been held scoreless in the Lady Lions last two games, but she made 7 of 11 shots and finished with 18 points against the Tigers. Hlinak grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Senior forward Caroline Bourlioux followed Monday's 17-point effort against MIAA-leading Emporia State with 13 points against the Tigers. Bourlioux led the Lady Lions with five assists.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (10-3) 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.
Tony Francis (50-48) is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Lindenwood women's basketball program. Francis turned the women's basketball program around in his first season and is now leading the program as it transitions to the NCAA Division II level. He enters tonight's game with a 50-48 overall record at Lindenwood. Francis took over a Lindenwood program in 2010-11 that had not had a winning season in nine years and promptly had one of the top turnarounds in the NAIA. Lindenwood went from nine wins to 21, finished second in the HAAC with a 15-5 record, and just missed a NAIA Division I Tournament bid by one spot. Three Lady Lions were named to the All-HAAC squad and Morgan Harrington was named to the NAIA All-American team. Francis was also named the Conference Coach of the Year.
The series between the two schools: The Lions have a perfect 4-0 record against Lindenwood. Southern is 2-0 at home while also winning both meetings on the road. Last year's meeting in St. Charles was the teams first meeting since the 2002-03 season as the Lions held on for a 78-74 win. Shonte Clay finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while Sharese Jones and Tee Singleton each added 10 points apiece.
Scouting Lindenwood: The Lady Lions bring a high-scoring offense into Wednesday's game ranking 5th in the MIAA in scoring offense averaging 77.4 points per game, but rank last in the MIAA in scoring defense allowing a league-high 71.9 points per game. Lindenwood is shooting a league-best 46.2% from the field, but much like their scoring defense, their field goal percentage defense ranks low in the MIAA at 13th as opponents are shooting 42.2%. The same can be said about their 3-point shooting percentage as they lead the MIAA at 34.6%, but are allowing opponents to shooting just as well at 34.9%. Lindenwood is led in scoring by freshman guard Kassidy Gengenbacher at 14.1 ppg while senior guard Marissa Lehnig is averaging 12.6 ppg. Caroline Bourlioux chips in 12.4 ppg while grabbing a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game.
Lions receiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the second consecutive week, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering 12 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State and Central Missouri, Fort Hays State moved into the rankings this week at #23, while Pittsburg State also received votes with three votes.
Lions are undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have more assists (9-0), have fewer turnovers (7-0) and make more free throws and score 80+ points (6-0).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.770), 3rd in FG percentage (.453), rebounding defense (34.2 rpg), & steals (9.3 spg), 5th in scoring margin (+8.5) & assists (16.0) and 6th in scoring offense (74.5 ppg, defense (66.0) & 3-point FG percentage defense (.300).
Shonte Clay ranks 3rd in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 57.1% from the field hitting 60-105. Sharese Jones is 8th at 53.0% (53-100). Dominique Mosley ranks 11th hitting 52.4% (88-164).
Nicole Hartzog ranks 3rd in the MIAA in FT percentage at 83.3% hitting 45-of-54 on the year. Jones ranks 5th at 81.3% (78-96).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.7 swipes per game. She is 6th in the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio at 2.2. Hartzog ranks 6th in steals with 1.9 spg.
Mosley ranks 4th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 16.7 ppg. Jones is 9th at 14.8 ppg. Clay is 19th with 12.1 ppg. Hartzog is 30th with 10.1 ppg.
Jones ranks 10th in the league in rebounding grabbing 7.7 rpg. Mosley is right behind her in 11th grabbing 7.4 rpg.