MSSU women to host Graceland in home opener Wednesday

The Lions are aiming for their first win
MSSU women to host Graceland in home opener Wednesday

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

The Missouri Southern women’s basketball program plays host to Graceland University for its home opener tomorrow night at 5:30 pm.

Game Information
Date: Wednesday November 12, 2019
Tip-Off: 5:30 pm
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Leggett & Platt Athletic Center

Media Coverage
Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpHcDJ0tZIs
Webcast: https://themiaanetwork.com/mssulions/
Live Stats: https://mssulions.com/sidearmstats/wbball/summary

Picking Up the Scent: Five Components on Opponents
Graceland University Jackets (Iowa) 1-3

Picked to finish 12th in the Heart of America Athletic Conference
Will be playing just their second road game as they are coming off a 12-point loss to William Woods
Searching for its first winning season since the 2011-12 season with a 14-13 overall and 7-11 conference record towards a berth into the finals of the conference tournament
Head Coach Frank Howell registered a record of 224-83 during the 13 years he spent coaching at Cedar Rapids Washington High School prior to his arrival at GU where he led the Warriors to six conference championships
Have two players 6’0 or over according to the roster

Bring on the Polls
The Lions tip off the 2019-20 season and were picked ninth in the MIAA after capping off a 14-16 overall record and 6-13 in the MIAA along with a berth into the MIAA tournament where they eventually fell to Central Oklahoma in the first round. Defending Conference champions Fort Hays State was picked to win the conference again with ten first-place votes as well as earn a ranking of seventh by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Central Missouri followed in second of the MIAA coaches’ poll while landing eleventh in the national poll. Washburn (3), Pittsburg State (4), and Emporia State (5) rounded out the top five. ESU received 28 votes towards cracking the top-25 as seen below:

Rank
School (2018-19 record)
Points
First-place votes
2018-19
final rank

1
Drury (35-1)
550
8
3

2
Lubbock Christian (31-6)
538
14
1

3
Grand Valley State (29-4)
458
0
8

4
Azusa Pacific (28-6)
436
0
9

5
Virginia Union (28-3)
404
0
13

6
UC San Diego (30-1)
394
0
6

7
Fort Hays State (32-2)
368
0
5

8
Ashland (29-3)
333
0
11

9
Indiana (PA) (30-4)
330
0
4

10
Saint Anselm (22-10)
328
0
14

11
Central Missouri (25-7)
295
1
NR

12
West Texas A&M (29-4)
264
0
23

13
Anderson (SC) (30-3)
251
0
22

14
Lee (TN) (25-7)
247
0
NR

15
Nova Southeastern (21-12)
228
0
16

16
Alaska Anchorage (30-3)
225
0
7

17
University of the Sciences (30-3)
174
0
12

18
Minnesota State Moorhead (27-7)
172
0
NR

19
Le Moyne (NY) (26-6)
151
0
NR

20
Southwestern Oklahoma State (36-1)
150
0
2

21
Lander (23-9)
139
0
NR

22
Glenville State (30-3)
133
0
25

23
North Georgia (30-5)
132
0
15

24
Angelo State (26-6)
98
0
19

25
Benedict (20-7)
73
0
NR

Others receiving votes on at least two ballots: Union (TN) (27-4) 61; California (PA) (26-6) 53; Northwest Nazarene (29-3) 53; Lewis (27-5) 50; Harding (21-9) 39; Tampa (22-9) 34; Thomas Jefferson (29-3) 30; Bentley (28-4) 29; Emporia State (22-9) 28; Stonehill (20-10) 23; LeMoyne-Owen (14-12) 19; Colorado Mesa (27-4) 18; Florida Southern (30-4) 17; Carson-Newman (22-8) 16; Michigan Tech (21-9) 10; Central Washington (18-11) 9; Sioux Falls (23-8) 9; Westminster (UT) (21-9) 9; Walsh (25-7) 6; Bowie State (22-6) 2.

2019-20 and MIAA opponents in BOLD and regional teams italicized

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 18 combined blocks through two games for first in the MIAA. Junior Zoe Campbell had 12 of them after blocking five to tie for most blocks in a single game against Henderson State before breaking the record with seven at Harding University.

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 26.7-clip on 30 attempts from three-point range, which ranks them tied for second with nationally ranked Central Missouri in the MIAA at three-point field-goal defense.

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 2/9/19 (vs. Fort Hays State, L 72-57)
Played an overtime game 1/17/19 (at. Northeastern State, L 66-64)
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 11/8/19 (vs. Henderson State, Zoe Campbell , 16)
Had a double-double 11/8/19 (Campbell, 21 points & 16 rebounds, vs. Henderson State)
Did not make a three-pointer 11/20/99 (vs. So. Arkansas, L 73-62)

Up Next
The Lions begin a four-game road trip on Saturday against Illinois-Springifeld of the Great Lakes Valley Conference at 7:30 pm.

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