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Southern women look to win fourth straight traveling to Northwest Missouri Wednesday

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Press Release MSSU:

After winninga pair of games at home last week, the Missouri Southern women's basketballteam looks to win their fourth straight game on Wednesday traveling toNorthwest Missouri to face the Bearcats at 5:30 p.m. at Bearcat Arena.

GameInformation

Teams: RV) Missouri Southern(12-3, 6-2 MIAA) vs. Northwest Missouri (5-11, 2-7)
Date:Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
Tip-Off:5:30 p.m., CT
Location:Maryville, Mo.
Site:Bearcat Arena (2,500)
Series Record: NWMSUleads 24-22 (Home: 13-7, Away: 9-15, Neutral: 0-2)
Coaches:Ronda Hubbard (12-3 at MSSU, overall). Michael Smith (5-11 at NWMSU,175-113 overall).

MediaCoverage

MSSURadio:KZYM-AM 1230 The Talker, Mike McClure, Play-by-Play
Live Stats: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=nwmsu
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 (12-3, 6-2): Behind a career-high 26 points from NicoleHartzog, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team shot a season-best64.8% from the field in a 86-62 romp this afternoon at the Leggett & PlattAthletic Center over the visiting Lincoln Blue Tigers.

Finishing12-of-15 from the field, the junior guard from Beaverton, Ore., also recorded acareer-best seven steals. The Lions' (12-3, 6-2 MIAA) also had two otherplayers finish with double figures as ShareseJones finished with 18 points and seven rebounds shooting a perfect 7-of-7from the field. ShonteClay chipped in 16 points, her third consecutive game in double figures,and grabbed seven boards. In her seventh game back from injury, senior guard TeeSingleton scored a season-high nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from thefield.

Aftershooting a season-best 69.2% in the first half hitting 18-of-26 shooting fromthe field and taking a 12-point lead into halftime, Southern continued theirstellar afternoon looking to get separation from the Blue Tigers in the secondhalf as they opened up a 20-point lead after the first eight minutes at 67-47.The Lions continued to keep the pressure on Lincoln as they held at least a16-point lead the remainder of the game winning by a final of 86-62. Southernmatched their great shooting in the first half in the final twenty minutes asthey went 17-of-28 (60.7%) from the field. Continuing a growing trend thisseason, Southern improved to 11-2 on the year when they outrebound theiropponent as they held a 31-24 edge in boards and improve to 11-0 when they havemore assists as they held a 16-5 advantage in that department as well. Finally,Southern held a distinct advantage in points in the paint outscoring the BlueTigers 52-24.

Lasttime out for the Bearcats (5-11, 2-7): The Northwest MissouriState women's basketball team fell short in their upset bid over No. 8 CentralMissouri Saturday as they fell 67-62.

The Bearcatscame out on fire in the first half jumping out to a 14-9 lead in the first fiveminutes. UCM went on top with 12 minutes to play and went into halftime holdinga slim three point lead, 38-35. Ariel Easton led all scorers in the first halfwith 12 points as she went 4 for 5 from behind the three point line. Northwestas team shot 58% from three point land as they went 7 for 12. The UCM defenseheld the Bearcats to only two points in the first nine minutes of the secondhalf, but Northwest refused to go away and tied it up 47-47 with 7:30 left toplay.

It was a backand forth battle in the final minutes of the contest, as the Bearcats took a54-52 lead with five minutes to play. A lead changed with 3:02 on the clock putUCM back up by two. Ashleigh Nelson was able to get her team back to within oneas she knocked home two foul shots with 1:27 remaining. That was as close asNorthwest would get as UCM pulled away in the final minute to claim the 67-62victory.

TheCoaches: Ronda Hubbard (12-3) is in her 13th year on the staff at MissouriSouthern and was promoted to the position of Interim Head Coach on July 2, 2013after the retirement of Maryann Mitts. During her 12 years with the Lions, shehas helped the team to a 189-145 record, including winning marks and a trip tothe 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 aseason since becoming an NCAA Division I institution in 1985, and the secondmost victories in school history. Prior to her stint at Texas-Pan American, sheserved on current Lions head coach Maryann Mitts' staff as an assistant atRockhurst University from 1996-2000. There, she helped the Lady Hawks post a68-45 record and advance to the 1997-98 Sweet 16.

Michael Smith (175-113) wasnamed the seventh head women's basketball coach at Northwest Missouri StateUniversity in the summer of 2013. Prior to arriving in Maryville, Smith spentfive years at former MIAA rival Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.During his tenure at Truman State, the Bulldogs increased their win total eachseason and advanced to the MIAA Tournament the last three seasons. He helpedlead the Bulldogs from the bottom of the conference with an 8-19 record in hisfirst season to a 20-6 record in 2012-13, which included 11 weeks ranked in theWBCA Top 25 Poll.

Theseries between the two schools: The Bearcats narrowly lead the overallseries with Southern 24-22. The Lions are 13-7 at home, but only 9-15 on theroad, and 0-2 at a neutral site. Northwest won the most recent match-up betweenthe two teams in the first round of the MIAA Tournament last year as theBearcats won 77-72 at L&P. The Lions won the only game in the regularseason last year 64-55 at L&P on Jan. 3, 2013.

ScoutingNorthwest Missouri: Narrowly missing out on defeating #8 Central Missouri athome on Saturday, the Bearcats come into Wednesday's game ranking 11th in theMIAA in scoring offense averaging 64.8 ppg, 9th in field goal percentage(.420), 3rd in three-point field goal percentage (.331), 6th in free-throwpercentage (.719). The Bearcats are led in scoring by junior guard Ariel Eastonwho ranks 4th in the MIAA in points per game at 16.3 and shooting 41.2% fromthe field. Annie Mathews leads the team in rebounds with 7.9 boards per game.

Lions receiving votes inthe WBCA Women's Poll: For the third consecutive week,Southern received votes in the USA Today WBCA Women's basketball poll garnering17 votes. Along with top ten ranked Emporia State and Central Missouri,Fort Hays State is in the rankings for the second straight week at #24, whilePittsburg State also received votes with two votes.

Lionsare undefeated when: Southern is undefeated on the year when they have moreassists (11-0), have fewer turnovers (9-0), score 80+ points (7-0) and makemore free throws (6-0).

MIAATeam Rankings:The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in free-throw percentage (.761) & fieldgoal percentage (.466), 2nd in rebounding defense (33.1 rpg), 3rd insteals (9.7 spg), 4th in scoring margin (+9.7), blocks (3.5), & assists(16.3), 5th in scoring defense (65.4), and 6th in scoring offense (75.1 ppg),3-point percentage (.329) & 3-point percentage defense (.294).

MIAAIndividual Rankings: Shonte Clay sits atop the MIAA in FG percentage asshe is shooting 59.7% from the field hitting 77-129. Sharese Jones is 7that 55.3% (63-114). DominiqueMosley ranks 11th hitting 51.1% (94-184).            

SamanthaSoyezis 2nd in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.7 apg as she has dished 66 helpers in14 games. AlexisFitzpatrick ranks 4th averaging 4.1apg.    

Jones ranks 2nd in the MIAAin FT percentage at 81.2% (82-101). NicoleHartzog is 5th at 78.9% (45-57).

Fitzpartick leads the MIAA insteals averaging 2.9 swipes per game. She is 5th in the MIAA in assist/turnoverratio at 2.2. Hartzogis second in steals with 2.3 spg.

Mosley ranks 6th in the MIAAin scoring averaging 15.5 ppg.  Jonesis 9th at 14.5 ppg. Clayis 16th with 12.8 ppg. Hartzogis 24th w/ 11.1 ppg.

Mosley is 10th in reboundsgrabbing 7.5 rpg. Jonesis 11th w/ 7.3 rpg.

NationalRankings:The Lions rank 10th in the country in field goal percentage shooting 46.6% fromthe field and 25th in the country in free-throw percentage shooting 76.1%from the charity stripe on the year. Fitzpatrick ranks 12th in the country inassist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) while ranking 26th in steals (2.9). Clayranks 14th in the country in FG percentage (59.7%). Soyez ranks 39th in assistsat 4.7 assists per game.

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