Joplin, Mo. - After winning their third straight game on Wednesday, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team will look to make it four in a row on Saturday as they play host to Pittsburg State at 1 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center for Senior Day and this year's Sonic Trophy Series game.
Teams: Missouri Southern Lions (17-6, 11-5 MIAA) vs. Pittsburg State Gorillas (20-6, 13-3)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: PSU leads 43-40 (Home: 23-17, Away: 16-25, N: 1-1)
Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (17-6 at MSSU, overall). Lane Lord (124-74 at PSU, overall).
MSSU Radio: KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
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Live Video: http://www.americaonesports.com/partner_members.asp?id=293
Lions on Facebook: Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports
The Lions last time out (17-6, 11-5 MIAA): Nearly getting a double-doube from senior forward Dominique Mosley, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team used her strong performance combined with solid free throw shooting down the stretch to power past the Southwest Baptist Bearcats 70-56 tonight at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Winning their third straight game, the Chicago native led the Lions (17-6, 11-5 MIAA) with 23 points and nine rebounds finishing 7-of-11 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Shawnee Phillips scored a career-high 17 points, hitting three three-pointers and going 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Nicole Hartzog and Alexis Fitzpatrick each chipped in 10 points, while Fitzpatrick added five assists.
After the Lions took a 31-24 lead into halftime, the Bearcats got within two twice in the first two and half minutes of second half, before Southern opened up a 44-34 lead after a Mosley free throw with 15:16 to play, but a 7-0 SBU run brought the Bearcats back to within three at 44-41 with 12:36 left. The Lions went to work from there as they answered back with a 7-0 run of their own as Fitzpatrick hit a jumper, Phillips knocked down a three and Mosley hit a jumper to open up a 51-41 lead.
Not going away, Southwest Baptist answered back with another 7-0 run to close it within 51-48 with 5:39 to play, but the Lions again had an answer as they reeled off six straight points to re-take a nine point lead.After the teams traded three-pointers a pair of free throws cut Southern's lead to seven at 60-53 with 2:40 to play, but the Lions hit 10-of-13 from the line in the final two and half minutes to pull out the 70-56 victory. Six of those free throws were made by Phillips as Mosley hit the other four.
The Gorillas last time out (20-6, 13-3 MIAA): The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team built a 21-point second-half lead and cruised to a 63-46 victory over Northeastern State University Wednesday (Feb. 19) to reach the 20-win plateau on the season.
Cathy Brugman led the Pitt State scoring effort with 13 points, all of which came after intermission. Brugman also pulled down three rebounds and added two blocks. Lizzy Jeronimus and Antqunita Reed both tallied 12 points on the evening. Jeronimus added a team-high five rebounds, while Reed totaled a team-high three steals.
The Gorillas led 38-24 at the half after a 3-point jumper by Hayden Herlocker beat the buzzer. The two sides traded buckets for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the Gorillas were able to prevent the RiverHawks from being able to close the gap.
The Coaches: Ronda Hubbard (17-6) 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 by one of those 12 seasons.
Lane Lord (124-74) is in his seventh season as head coach of Pittsburg State and enters today's game with an overall record of 124-74 (.626) in his tenure at PSU. Under Lord's tutelage, the Gorillas had their best season in school history in 2011-12 reaching its first NCAA tournament in Lord's tenure and earned the first-ever win in NCAA tournament play in program history.
The series between the two schools: The Gorillas hold a slight lead in the overall series with the Lions 43-40. The Lions do hold a edge at home as they have a 23-16 advantage at home, with the teams splitting their last four meetings in Joplin. Southern last win at home over the Gorillas came on January 2, 2011 when they won 60-52. The Lions won the most recent match-up 62-57 in Pittsburg on February 27, 2013 as Mosley lead the Lions with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Scouting the Gorillas: The Pittsburg State women are red-hot as they have won nine a row dating back to Jan. 18. They rank fourth as a team in the MIAA in field goal percentage (.431), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.295) and blocks (4.3), 5th in free throw percentage (.727) and 7th in scoring offense (72.2). The Gorillas feature the second leading scorer in the MIAA in junior Lizzy Jeronimus who averages 18.9 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounds (6.7) and assists (2.3) and ranks first in the conference in free throw percentage shooting 84.2% from the line.
Mosley continues February tear: Since the calendar changed to February, senior forward Dominique Mosley has been on a tear offensively averaging 17.4 points per game and averaging 7.8 boards per contest. She nearly registered a double-double on Wednesday against Southwest Baptist scoring 23 points and hauling in nine rebounds. On the season, Mosley is leading the team in points, rebounds and blocks averaging 15.5, 7.1 and 0.8 blocks. In MIAA contests, she is averaging 13.9 ppg. and 6.5 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 (14-3), have more assists (15-2) and have more steals (14-2), lead at halftime (11-3), make more free throws (11-2), have fewer turnovers (11-2) and score 80+ points (8-0).
MIAA Team Rankings: The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.460) & rebounding defense (33.2 rpg.), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.744), 3rd in steals (9.1 spg), 4th in assists (15.3), 5th in scoring offense (73.0), & reb. margin (+2.8), 6th in scoring margin (+7.3) & 3-point FG pct. (.322).
MIAA Individual Rankings: Shonte Clay is 5th in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 55.1% from the field hitting 102-185. Sharese Jones is 6th at 54.5% (96-176). Dominique Mosley ranks 8th hitting 50.9% (135-265).
Samantha Soyez is 4th in the MIAA in assists averaging 3.8 apg as she has dished 84 helpers in 22 games. Alexis Fitzpatrick is 5th averaging 3.8 assists per game.
Jones ranks 4th in the MIAA in FT percentage at 79.6% (117-147). Hartzog is 5th at 77.4% (65-84). Clay is 7th (75.6%) and Mosley is 8th (75.4%).
Fitzpartick leads the MIAA in steals averaging 2.4 swipes per game. She is 8th in the MIAA in minutes played averging 31.4 mpg. Hartzog is 2nd in steals with 2.2 spg.
Mosley ranks 5th in the MIAA in scoring averaging 15.5 ppg. Jones is 11th at 13.9 ppg. Clay is 22nd with 11.4 ppg. Hartzog is 26th at 10.8 ppg.
Mosley is 10th in boards grabbing 7.1 rpg. Jones is 17th with 6.4 rpg.
National Rankings: The Lions rank 15th in the nation in field goal percentage shooting 46.0% from the field. They check in 45th in free throw percentage hitting 74.4% from the line, while they are 49th in assists per game with 15.3, 58th in scoring margin (7.3) and 73rd in rebounding margin (3.2). Individually, Fitzpatrick ranks 48th in steals (2.43) and Mosley is 55th (50.9) in the country in field goal percentage. Fitzpatrick ranks 66th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67).