Joplin, Mo. - Looking to win their third straight contest, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday hosting the Southwest Baptist Bearcats at 5:30 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Teams: Missouri Southern Lions (16-6, 10-5 MIAA) vs. Southwest Baptist Bearcats (10-12, 5-10)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: MSSU leads 39-21 (Home: 25-5, Away: 14-16)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (16-6 at MSSU, overall). Todd Voss (30-45 at SBU, 138-77 overall).
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The Lions Last time out (16-6, 10-5 MIAA): Hitting key free throws down the stretch, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team weathered a tough Missouri Western team topping the Griffons 68-61 this afternoon at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The Lions (16-6, 10-5 MIAA) won their second game in a row as they were led by Nicole Hartzog with 16 points. Returning for her second game since injury, the junior guard from Beaverton, Ore., went 13-of-16 from the charity stripe, tying her career-high for most free throws in a contest. Forward Dominique Mosley continued her stellar play scoring 15 points, hitting 6-of-10 from the field. Sharese Jones and Shonte Clay also scored in double figures finishing in 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Lions shot 18-39 (46.2%) from the field, and were frequent participants at the free throw line connecting on 29-of-40 (72.5) from the charity stripe.
After Southern jumped out to a 16-8 lead, the Griffons turned up the defensive pressure and went on a 13-7 run to cut the lead to two with just under eight minutes to go. in the first half. Reeling off seven straight points in a 2:35 span, that featured a pair of free throws from Jones, a jumper from Clay and downtown trey from Alexis Fitzpatrick gave Southern held a 30-21 edge with 5:30 to play in the first half. Unfortunately, it was all Griffons for the rest of the half as they ended on a 19-6 run, including the final four of the half, to take a 40-36 lead at the break.
Western continued to lead for the first seven minutes of the second half before Hartzog knocked down a pair of free throw to even the game at 46. After a layup by Western's Gray tied it up at 50 with 7:19 to play in regulation, Lions went on a quick 7-0 run in 1:50 to re-capture a lead they would not relinquish. That run featured a three-pointer from Shawnee Phillips, three free throws from Jones and one from Fitzpatrick. After a layup by Lewis cut Southern's lead to four with 3:18 to play, the Lions went 9-for-9 from the line down the stretch to sealed the 68-61 win.
The Bearcats last time out (10-12, 5-10): The Southwest Baptist University women's basketball team picked up a huge 68-55 victory at Lincoln on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, SBU is now 10-12 (5-10 MIAA) on the season.
The Bearcats started quick against the Blue Tigers on Saturday, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead off of a three from Brook Duncan and three buckets from Jacqui Zelenka. The Bearcats continued to push, while playing solid defense, extending their lead to 18 points (25-7) off of a Morgan Lucy layup with 7:39 to go in the half. The Bearcats held steady, taking a 16 point lead into halftime up 36-18.
In the second half the Bearcats strong defensive effort continued. SBU allowed only six points through the first seven and a half minutes of the second half, extending their lead to a game high 23 (47-24) with 12:57 left in the contest. Over the final 13 minutes of the game, Lincoln attempted to chip away at the SBU lead but couldn't get it back under 10. The Bearcats ended up cruising to a 67-53 victory.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (16-6) 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.
Todd Voss (138-77) is currently in his 3rd season at the helm of the Southwest Baptist women's basketball program. With a record of 30-45 (.400) record as the head coach of the Bearcats, Voss has a career record of 138-77 (.642) as a head coach after coaching at Concordia University-Seward for four years from 2002-2006. Before taking over at SBU, Voss spent five years as an assistant coach at Division I Drake, where he was involved in player development, tutoring post players, game preparation, and recruiting. The Bulldogs went 86-72 during his tenure in Des Moines, including going 23-14 in 2007-08.
The series between the two schools: The Lions lead the overall series with the Bearcats 39-21 holding a 25-5 advantage at home, having won 12 of the past 13 meetings in Joplin. They dropped this year's earlier match-up in Bolivar 83-78 on Jan. 30 as Jones led Southern with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Scouting Southwest Baptist: The Bearcat women rank 1st in the conference in free throw percentage, 3rd in assists and 3-point field goal percentage and 8th in scoring offense. They are led in scoring by guard Brook Duncan who ranks 5th in the MIAA in scoring with 15.1 points per game while forward Jacqui Zelenka is 4th in rebounds with 8.3 rpg. Guard Dilonna Johnson is tied for the league lead in assists per game with 4.5 dimes per game.
Mosley continues February tear: Since the calendar changed to February, senior forward Dominique Mosley has been on a tear offensively averaging 16.0 points per game and averaging 7.0 boards per contest. She nearly registered a double-double last Wednesday against Northwest scoring 12 points and hauling in nine rebounds. On the season, Mosley is leading the team in points, rebounds and blocks averaging 15.1, 7.0 and 0.8 blocks. In MIAA contests, she is averaging 13.3 ppg. and 6.3 rpg.
Lions are tough when: The Lions have found much success this year when they have an advantage in rebounding (14-3), outshoot opponents in field goal percentage (13-3), have more assists (14-2) and have more steals (13-2) and make more free throws (10-2).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.460) & rebounding defense (33.3 rpg.), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.741), 3rd in steals (9.2 spg), 5th in scoring offense (73.1) & assists (15.3), 6th in scoring margin (+7.0), & & 8th in scoring defense (66.1).
MIAA Individual Rankings: Shonte Clay is 4th in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 56.7% from the field hitting 102-180. Sharese Jones is 6th at 55.1% (92-167). Dominique Mosley ranks 10th hitting 50.4% (128-254).
Samantha Soyez is 4th in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.0 apg as she has dished 84 helpers in 21 games. Alexis Fitzpatrick is 5th averaging 3.7 assists per game.
Jones ranks 3rd in the MIAA in FT percentage at 79.6% (117-147). Hartzog is 5th at 78.0% (64-82). Clay is 6th (75.6%) and Mosley is 13th (73.3%).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.6 swipes per game. She is 7th in the MIAA in minutes played averging 31.3 mpg. Hartzog is 2nd in steals with 2.2 spg.
Mosley ranks 6th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 15.1 ppg. Jones is 9th at 14.2 ppg. Clay is 20th with 12.0 ppg.
Mosley is 12th in boards grabbing 7.0 rpg. Jones is 17th with 6.5 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 14th in the nation in field goal percentage shooting 46.0% from the field. They check in 46th in free throw percentage hitting 74.1% from the line, while they are 50th in assists per game with 15.3, 62nd in scoring margin (7.0) and 74th in rebounding margin (3.3). Individually, Fitzpatrick ranks 46th in steals (2.50) and Mosley is 63rd (50.4) in the country in field goal percentage.