MSSU women prep for Central Oklahoma

The Lions aim to avoid their third straight loss.

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team will return home on Thursday to take on the University of Central Oklahoma on Thursday. The Lions look to snap a two-game losing streak in their first home game of 2020.

Game Information
Date:  January 9, 2020
Tip-Off: 5:30 PM
Location: Joplin, Mo
Site: Robert Corn Court – Leggett & Platt Athletic Center
Series: Series tied at 14

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: Fox Sports Joplin 101.3, 107.9 and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS
Audio: https://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/index.cfm?stationCallSign=WMBH
Webcast:  https://www.themiaanetwork.com/mssulions
Live Stats: http://www.mssulions.com

Stop the Polls
The Lions were picked to finish 9th in the MIAA after going 14-16 overall and 6-13 in MIAA play during the 2018-19 campaign. Defending Conference Campions Fort Hays State was picked to win the MIAA with 10 first-place votes while Central Missouri received the other four first-place vote and was picked second. Washburn (3), Pittsburg State (4), and Emporia State (5) rounded out the top-5.

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1    Drury (14)    12-0    564    1

2    Lubbock Christian (9)    13-0    559    2

3    Grand Valley State    13-0    531    3

4    Ashland    13-0    508    4

5    Texas A&M-Commerce    13-0    439    8

6    Virginia Union    9-1    438    7

7    Alaska Anchorage    14-1    409    10

8    Indiana (PA)    11-1    394    11

9    Lee (TN)    13-1    371    5

10    North Georgia    11-1    335    13

11    Hawaii Pacific    11-1    326    14

12    Adelphi    14-0    312    15

13    Fort Hays State    10-2    307    16

14    Sioux Falls    13-2    270    18

15    California (PA)    10-2    208    9

16    Emporia State    10-2    203    20

17    Anderson (SC)    10-2    191    19

18    Bowie State    13-0    174    23

19    Westminster (UT)    11-2    160    12

20    Azusa Pacific    11-3    111    17

21    Southeastern Oklahoma State    8-2    93    NR

22    Saint Anselm    8-3    76    6

23    Cal State San Marcos    11-2    54    24

24    Benedict    11-2    53    NR

25    Walsh    12-2    50    NR

Dropped Out: No. 21 Southwestern Oklahoma State (9-3); No. 22 UC San Diego (9-4); No. No. 25 Lindenwood (6-3).

Others receiving votes: Bentley (10-3) 42; West Texas A&M (12-3) 42; Catawba (10-1) 33; Tampa (8-3) 26; Colorado Mesa (11-2) 25; University of the Sciences (11-3) 25; Minnesota Duluth (11-3) 20; Delta State (11-1) 15; Florida Southern (8-6) 14; Union (TN) (11-3) 13; Notre Dame (OH) (11-1) 7; Southwestern Oklahoma State (9-3) 7; Belmont Abbey (11-2) 5; Lincoln (PA) (12-2) 4.

11 teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 61 combined points.

Last Time Out
The Lions fell in two games to start 2020. They were defeated at Fort Hays State, 75-59, and Nebraska Kearney, 65-58. This comes after they closed out 2019 with a home win over Oklahoma Wesleyan, 86-62.

Stop the Polls
The Lions were picked to finish 9th in the MIAA after going 14-16 overall and 6-13 in MIAA play during the 2018-19 campaign. Defending Conference Campions Fort Hays State was picked to win the MIAA with 10 first-place votes while Central Missouri received the other four first-place vote and was picked second. Washburn (3), Pittsburg State (4), and Emporia State (5) rounded out the top-5.

Send It Back
One goal that coach Ressel set for the Lions heading into the season was to improve on defense. Thus far as opponents try to shoot from the paint, the Lions have been preventing many shots from even reaching the rim with 74 combined blocks and a 6.2 average per contest for seventh and fourth in the nation, respectively. Both marks also place them first among MIAA programs with Northwest Missouri and Central Missouri trailing by 19 (55) in second.

Front and Center
After observing as a freshman and figuring things out on the court as a sophomore, junior center Zoe Campbell from Caloundra, Australia has become a force in the front court. Campbell ranks fifth nationally in total blocks (40) and fifth in blocks per game (3.33) while leading the MIAA in both categories. The Australia native currently stands second in all-time in career blocks (91),just 18 away from the all-time record of 109 by Caryn Schumaker (87-91). She averages 1.54 blocks per game and set the school record for blocks in one game (7) at Harding. She is also seventh in the MIAA in rebounds per game (8.1) with 71 defensive that puts her fourth in the league.

Take the Long Way Home
Another dimension on the defense that MSSU wanted to sure up was around the perimeter and the team has certainly done its job by limiting opponents to 31.3-clip on 240 attempts from three-point range, which ranks eleventh in the MIAA  at three-point field-goal defense. The Lions defense is ranked seventh in total field-goal defense by holding opponents to 37.1  percent shooting from the field on 719 attempts.

Third From Three
In her second year at Southern, senior Destiny Cozart has earned the sharpshooter medal for the Lions as she has hit 38 treys on the season to sit third in the MIAA. She was fire in the final 30 seconds of Monday’s contest at Nebraska Kearney as she hit three triples in a 21 second span.

UCO Gapping Opponents
The Bronchos are 10-3 overall on the season and 4-1 in the MIAA as they sit in third in the conference. They have won four of their last five with their only loss coming at the hands of MIAA-leading Central Missouri (59-50) on Jan. 4. In that span, the Bronchos have outscored opponents by 25.8 per game in their wins.

High-Scoring Bronchos
Central Oklahoma comes into Thursday’s game averaging 79.9 points per game, second-most in the MIAA. Central is led by Kelsey Johnson’s 12.3 points per game. The junior forward is also the team’s leading rebounder at 7.7 boards per game. Micayla Haynes also averages double figures for the Bronchos. The senior guard is averaging 11.8 points per game and has a team-high 23 made three-pointers this season.

Reinforcements at the Ready
UCO gets help up and down its lineup in all aspects of the game. Jaci Littell (9.3), Shatoya Bryson (8.8), and Clary Doncia (6.5) help Johnson and Haynes in scoring and give the Bronchos a strong first unit. Brooke Rayner, Kaci Richardson, McKenna Pulley, Aliyah Llanusa, and Lauren Chancellor make up a strong second unit that keeps the intensity at a high level through the game. That second unit averages 33.6 points per game. The Broncho bench averages more than 30 points per game.

Last Time the Lions …
Scored 100 points 12/30/17 (vs. Graceland, W 100-44)
Allowed 100 points 2/12/00 (vs. Emporia State, L 102-60)
Scored 100 points & lost 11/23/91 (vs. Arkansas-Monticello, L 104-100)
Lost at home 12/7/19 (vs. Washburn, L 83-76)
Played an overtime game 11/16/19 (at. Illinois Springfield, L 80-75)
Played multiple overtimes 12/7/17 (2 OT vs. Lincoln, W 94-90)
Had a player with 30 points 1/5/19 (at Lincoln, Chelsey Henry, 35 pts.)
Had a player with 15 rebounds 12/17/19 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, Madi Stokes, 18)
Had a double-double 12/17/19 (Stokes, 22 points & 18 rebounds, vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan) W , 86-62
Did not make a three-pointer 11/20/99 (vs. So. Arkansas, L 73-62)

Up Next
After this series, the Lions will be back home on January 11 to play host to the Newman Jets at 1:30 pm inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

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