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Women's basketball hits the road for first time in 2014 to face - KOAM TV 7

Women's basketball hits the road for first time in 2014 to face Central Oklahoma

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PRESS RELEASE MSSU: 

Receivingvotes in the USA Today WBCA Women's Basketball poll for the first time thisseason after defeating Fort Hays State at home on Saturday, the MissouriSouthern women's basketball looks to continue their strong play hitting theroad on Wednesday traveling to Central Oklahoma to face the Bronchos at 5:30p.m. at the Hamilton Field House.

GameInformation

Teams: Missouri Southern(9-2, 3-1 MIAA) vs. Central Oklahoma (7-5, 2-3)
Date:Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
Tip-Off:5:30 p.m., CT
Location:Edmond, Okla.
Site:Hamilton Field Huse (3,000)
Series Record: MSSUleads 14-6 (Home: 7-1, Away: 5-1, Neutral: 2-4)
Coaches:Ronda Hubbard (9-2 at MSSU, overall). Guy Hardaker (142-77 at CentralOklahoma, 142-77 overall).

MediaCoverage

MSSURadio:KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/uco/wbball/
Live Video:
 http://www.americaonesports.com/partner_members.asp?id=293
Lions on Facebook
: Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter:@mososports

Lasttime out for the Lions (9-2, 3-1 MIAA): With five Lions finishing in doublefigures, led by sophomore guard ShareseJones, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team won a back-and-forthbattle Saturday afternoon (Jan. 4) over Fort Hays State 76-71 at the theLeggett & Platt Athletic Center. The St. Charles native finished with agame-high 18 points, going 11-of-15 from the free throw line, while ShonteClay added 14 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds. NicoleHartzog added 13 points for Southern (9-2, 3-1 MIAA), all coming from thefree throw line, while SamanthaSoyez scored a career-high 12 points, going a perfect 4-for-4 from the freethrow line.

With theLions trailing by five coming out of halftime, Southern looked to cool off thehot-shooting Tigers, scoring the first four points of the second half on layupsfrom Clay and Jones to pull within one. After a layup and free throw from theTigers pushed their lead back to four, Jones nailed a three-pointer and Jonesknocked down a pair of free throws to take their first lead of the second halfgoing up 45-44 with 16:13 to play. Fort Hays proceeded to go on a 19-10 run totake a 63-55 edge, their largest lead of the game with 8:39 to play, before theLions made some timely plays and found the hot-hand from the free-throw line topropel a comeback.

Pullingwithin a point at 66-65 with 5:21 to go, Soyez nailed her second three-pointerof the game to give the Lions a 68-66 lead, one they would not relinquishwinning by a final of 76-71. The Lions shot 7-for-12 from the free-throw in thefinal 3:18. The Lions held Hays to 34.6% (9-26) shooting from the field in thefinal 20 minutes.

Lasttime out for the Bronchos (7-5, 2-3): Poor outside shooting led to atough road loss for Central Oklahoma Saturday afternoon (Jan. 4) as the Bronchosfell to MIAA rival Northwest Missouri 78-72. Jill Bryan led UCO with acareer-high 28 points while adding five rebounds and four steals.  BritneyMorgan and Julia Mason scored 14 points apiece, with Mason also pulling downeight rebounds.

The Bronchostrailed most of the game and were down eight (66-58) with 5:30 left to playbefore rallying to make it close at the end. Morgan hit a rare 3-pointer forUCO at the 5:01 mark to cut the deficit to five at 66-61 and it was 67-63 afterMason's layup with 3:15 remaining. Bryan followed a NWMSU bucket with one freethrow at 2:17 and a Chelsea Robinson steal led to two Bryan foul shots at 1:58to make it 69-66. The Bearcats turned the ball over again on their nextpossession and Mason drained two charity tosses with 1:21 left to pull UCOwithin one at 69-68. NWMSU pushed the lead back to 71-68 with two free throwsat 1:17 and the Bronchos couldn't answer back. UCO had a turnover and missedshot on its next two possessions and the Bearcats hit four straight foul shotsto put the game out of reach.

TheCoaches: Ronda Hubbard (9-2) is in her 13th year on the staff atMissouri Southern and was promoted to the position of Interim Head Coach onJuly 2, 2013 after the retirement of Maryann Mitts. During her 12 years withthe Lions, she has helped the team to a 189-145 record, including winning marksand a trip to the MIAA post season tournament in all but one of those 12seasons. In 2000-01, Hubbard helped the University of Texas-Pan American postits most wins in a season since becoming an NCAA Division I institution in1985, and the second most victories in school history. Prior to her stint atTexas-Pan American, she served on current Lions head coach Maryann Mitts' staffas an assistant at Rockhurst University from 1996-2000. There, she helped theLady Hawks post a 68-45 record and advance to the 1997-98 Sweet 16.

GuyHardaker (142-77) isin his eighth year as Central Oklahoma's head women's basketball coach turningthe Bronchos into a perennial NCAA Division II national tournament contender. Amember of the UCO Athletic Hall of Fame, Hardaker took over the helm in 2006after a highly-successful stint as boys high school basketball coach. He's ledUCO to its first four Division II national tournament appearances and theBronchos won 20-plus games a school-record four consecutive seasons.  Guyguided Central to a top-two finish in the Lone Star Conference North Divisionfrom 2008-12 (two firsts, three seconds) in the league.

Theseries between the two schools: The Lions lead the overall series with theBronchos 14-6. Southern has a 7-1 edge at home, while they are 5-1 at CentralOklahoma and are 2-4 at a neutral site. The Lions took both games in the serieslast year winning at home 68-66 and in the regular season finale at UCO 63-59.Southern has won 13 of the previous 14 matchups with the Bronchos.

Scoutingthe Bronchos: Central Oklahoma comes into Wednesday'sgame coming off a loss to Northwest Missouri last Saturday 78-72. TheBronchos are led in scoring by senior guard Jill Bryan with 15.0 points pergame while sophomore forward Julia Mason is averaging 11.5.ppg. Olivia Mason is leading the team in boards with 5.8 rpg while hersister Julia is right behind her grabbing 5.7 rpg. Former MSSU Lion HaleyWeathers, who played at Southern in 2011-12, has started all 12 games at guardfor UCO averaging 9.2 ppg, while shooting 38% from the field.UCO ranks 9th in the MIAA in scoring average with 72.0 ppg., 7thin free-throw percentage at 72.5% and 9th in three-pointpercentage at 31.5%.

Lionsreceiving votes in the WBCA Women's Poll: For the first timethis season, Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketballpoll garnering 14 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State andCentral Missouri, the Lions and Fort Hays State are currently the onlyranked MIAA teams. 

MIAATeam Rankings:The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.765), 2nd in FGpercentage (.455), 4th in assists per game (16.3), 4th in scoring margin (+9.9ppg.), rebounding defense (35.0 rpg) & steals (9.3 spg), 5th inassist/turnover ratio (1.0). and 7th in scoring offense (75.3 ppg.).

MIAAIndividual Rankings: Samantha Soyez continues to lead the MIAA in assistsaveraging 5.2 apg as she has dished 52 helpers in 10 games. AlexisFitzpatrick ranks 4th averaging 4.2 apg. 

ShonteClayranks 6th in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 56.2% from the fieldhitting 50-89 on the year. DominiqueMosley ranks 10th hitting 53.8% (78-145). Sharese Jones is 11that 53.4% (47-88).

NicoleHartzogranks 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 insteals averaging 2.4 swipes per game. She also leads the MIAA inassist/turnover ratio at 3.5 as she has 46 assists and only 13 turnovers.

Jones ranks 4th in theleague in rebounding grabbing 8.3 rpg. Mosley is 10th grabbing 7.3 rpg.

Mosley ranks 4th in the MIAAin scoring averaging 17.5 ppg.  Jonesis 10th at 14.9 ppg. Clayis 20th with 11.9 ppg. Hartzogis 26th w/ 11.0 ppg.

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