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Lions women's basketball looks to get back on track hosting Bearcats Wednesday

Updated:

Press Release MSSU: 

After dropping atough 75-67 loss at home to #13 Central Missouri on Saturday, the MissouriSouthern women's basketball looks to get back on the winning track onWednesday evening hosting the Northwest Missouri Bearcats at 5:30p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

GameInformation

Teams: Missouri SouthernLions (14-6, 8-5 MIAA) vs. Northwest Missouri Bearcats (9-12, 6-8)
Date:Wednesday,Feb. 12, 2014
Tip-Off:5:30 p.m., CT
Location:Joplin,Mo.
Site:Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (3,240)
Series Record: NWMSUleads 24-23 (Home: 13-7, Away: 10-15, Neutral: 0-2)
Coaches:Ronda Hubbard (14-6 at MSSU, overall). Michael Smith (9-12 at NWMSU,179-114 overall).

MediaCoverage

MSSURadio: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

Lasttime out for the Lions (14-6, 8-5 MIAA): Despite a tie gamewith less than eight minutes to play and three Lions finishing in doublefigures, the Missouri Southern women's basketball team dropped a tough 75-67contest to the 13th-ranked Central Missouri Jennies Saturday afternoon (Feb. 8)at the L&P Athletic Center.

Southern(14-6, 8-5 MIAA) was led in scoring for the third time in the last four gamesby senior forward DominiqueMosley, who finished with a team-high 15 points, while hitting 7-of-9 fromthe free throw line. AlexisFitzpatrick and ShareseJones added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Mosley finished with sixrebounds while all eight Lions who played registered at least one assist led byJones with four. Central Missouri took a 37-31 edge into halftime as both sidesshot very evenly from the field in the first half as Southern shot 44.0%(11-25) and Central shot 46.3% (13-28).

Coming out ofthe locker room looking to start the second half strong, the Lions did justthat hitting three of five field goals in the first four minutes of play toclose the gap to one at 43-42 after a jumper from Mosley. The Jennies builttheir lead back to an eight-point cushion, but back-to-back three pointers fromSoyez and ShawneePhillips cut the lead back down to two with 12:09 to play.

After a layupfrom Mosley tied the game at 61 apiece with 7:40 to play, a pair of free throwsfrom Twine and four more points from Flax pushed UCM lead to 67-61. Southerncontinued to battle as Mosley knocked down a pair of free throws to close towithin three at 70-67, but that would be as close as the Lions got as theJennies hit two layups and a free throw to win by a final of 75-67.

Lasttime out for the Bearcats (9-12, 6-8): The Northwest MissouriState women's basketball team operated like a well-oiled machine Saturday (Feb.8), as the Bearcats defeated Lincoln University, 65-53, for their fourthconsecutive victory.

AshleighNelson knocked home a three pointer to start the game for the Bearcats as theyjumped out to an 11-3 lead. Northwest never relinquished the lead and kepttheir foot on the gas pedal throughout the contest.

As a team,Northwest shot 47 percent from the floor while going 6-for-11 from behind thethree point line. They continued to take advantage of free throws, hitting 83percent from the line in the first half. The Bearcats slowed their scoring pacedown in the second half but still hit a season high nine three pointers in thegame as they came away with a 12 point victory, 65-53.

Nelson tied acareer high with six three pointers as she posted a game high 20 points withfour assists and two rebounds. Ariel Easton totaled 15 points with four assistswhile Annie Mathews finished with 10 points and led the team with ninerebounds.

TheCoaches: Ronda Hubbard (14-6) 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.

MichaelSmith (179-114) was named the seventh head women's basketball coach atNorthwest Missouri State University in the summer of 2013. Prior to arriving inMaryville, Smith spent five years at former MIAA rival Truman State Universityin Kirksville, Mo. During his tenure at Truman State, the Bulldogs increasedtheir win total each season and advanced to the MIAA Tournament the last threeseasons. He helped lead the Bulldogs from the bottom of the conference with an8-19 record in his first season to a 20-6 record in 2012-13, which included 11weeks ranked in the WBCA Top 25 Poll.

Theseries between the two schools: The Bearcats lead the overall serieswith the Lions 24-23. Southern is 13-7 at home, 9-5 in the Leggett & PlattAthletic Center, but dropped their most recent matchup at home 77-72 in thefirst round of last year's MIAA Tournament. The Lions won their contest earlierthis year 80-74 in Maryville as Sharese Jones led MSSU with 20 points.

Scoutingthe Bearcats: The Bearcat women enter Wednesday's game with a 9-12overall record, 6-8 in the MIAA, having won their last four games. As a team,they rank 1st in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense, 2ndin 3-point field goal percentage, 4th in rebounding defense and 5th in scoringdefense and free throw percentage. They are led in scoring by junior guardAriel Easton, who ranks fourth in the conference averaging 16.4 ppg. whilejunior forward Annie Mathews leads the team in rebounds averaging 7.8 per game.Monique Stevens leads the conference in free throw percentage shooting 84.7%from the line.

MIAATeam Rankings:The Lions rank 1st in the MIAA in FG percentage (.466) & 3-pt. FG perct.(.340), 2nd in free-throw percentage (.746), & rebounding defense (33.3rpg), 3rd in steals (9.0 spg), 5th in scoring margin (+7.2), assists (15.6)& scoring offense (73.8) & 7th in scoring defense (66.7).

MIAAIndividual Rankings: ShonteClayis third in the MIAA in FG percentage as she is shooting 56.5% from the fieldhitting 95-168. ShareseJones is 6th at 54.5% (84-154). Dominique Mosley ranks 9th hitting 50.4%(118-234).

SamanthaSoyezis 3rd in the MIAA in assists averaging 4.2 apg as she has dished 79 helpers in19 games. Alexis Fitzpatrickis 4th averaging 3.8 apg.                   

Jones ranks 5th in the MIAAin FT percentage at 80.2% (105-131). Hartzogis 6th at 77.4% (48-62). Clayis 7th (76.6%) and Mosleyis 11th (74.5%).

Fitzpartick leads the MIAA insteals averaging 2.6 swipes per game. She is 8th in the MIAA in minutes playedaverging 30.9 mpg. Hartzogis 2nd in steals with 2.2 spg.

Mosley ranks 5th in the MIAAin scoring averaging 15.3 ppg.  Jonesis 10th at 14.2 ppg. Clayis 18th with 12.5 ppg.

Mosley is 11th in boardsgrabbing 7.1 rpg. Jonesis 17th with 6.5 rpg.

NationalRankings:The Lions rank 12th in the nation in field goal percentage shooting 46.6% fromthe field. They check in 42nd in free throw percentage hitting 74.6% from theline, while they are 62nd in scoring margin and 63rd in 3-point field goalpercentage. Individually, Fitzpatrick ranks 41st in steals and 43rd inassist-to-turnover ratio. Mosley is 64th in the country in field goalpercentage.

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