Roberson, Shorter Earn Missouri State Sweep of Valley Awards
ST. LOUIS -- After helping the Missouri State Lady Bears to a big road victory over the preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Saturday at Creighton, Jaleshia Roberson and Christiana Shorter earned a clean sweep of the Valley's weekly awards for the period January 4-10, the league office announced Monday. Roberson was named MVC Player of the Week for the second time this season, while Shorter also earned her second weekly award of 2009-10 with her selection as MVC Newcomer of the Week.
With the two latest awards for Missouri State, four different Lady Bears have earned seven weekly Valley awards this season. This week's sweep of the conference honors marks the second time this season MSU has received both awards. Casey Garrison and Whitney Edie earned Player and Newcomer of the Week honors, respectively, on Dec. 14.
Roberson averaged 26.0 points and 3.0 assists while shooting .448 from the field, including 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, and .941 (16-of-17) at the free throw line in helping Missouri State split two road games against two of the conferences top clubs. Against Drake, Roberson led a second-half Missouri State charge that would see the Lady Bears nearly overcome a 20-point deficit. She would total 20 points during a 37-18 MSU run that would ultimately cut the Lady Bear deficit to 83-82 with 1:11 to play. Roberson would go 7-of-14 from three-point range and 9-of-10 at the foul line to post a career-high 36 points in the 88-84 setback. Her effort marked the second time in five games she surpassed the 30-point barrier, and her point total represented the 24th-best single-game scoring effort in the history of the program.
Roberson also played a key role in the Lady Bears' 82-67 win over league-leading Creighton on Saturday, finishing with 16 points to help MSU earn its first win over the Bluejays in Omaha since Feb. 2005. Her three first-half three-pointers helped MSU build a 12-point halftime lead that CU would never seriously threaten. Roberson, who was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, helped ice the victory by sinking four free throws in the final minute and-a-half.
Shorter posted a pair of strong performances as well, averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocked shots to help the Lady Bears climb back into a first-place tie with Creighton and Drake in the Valley standings. At Drake, Shorter turned in an eight-point, eight-rebound effort in a career-best 31 minutes. She was even better Saturday in MSU's win over Creighton, totaling 16 points to help the Lady Bears outscore the 'Jays 44-20 in the paint. She scored nine first-half points as MSU raced out to an early double-digit lead, combining with Lacey Boshe for half of the Lady Bears' 48 points in the opening period. Shorter also pulled down seven boards and recorded two steals and two blocks in the win over CU which snapped a four-game losing streak versus the Bluejays in Omaha.
Roberson, who was previously named MVC Player of the Week on Dec. 21, leads Missouri State and ranks second overall in the MVC with a 19.8 ppg., scoring average in the Lady Bears four league games. The sophomore from Kansas City paces the circuit with 3.8 three-point field goals per game in Valley play.
Shorter has posted eight double-figure scoring games in her first 14 collegiate contests, earning MVC Newcomer of the Week recognition on Dec. 7, as well. The Tulsa, Okla., native is averaging 13.0 points, 7.3 boards, 2.8 steals and 2.3 blocks per game in conference play.
The Lady Bears (11-4, 3-1 MVC) return home to JQH Arena next Saturday (Jan 16) to begin their longest homestand of the conference season against Indiana State at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting the MSU Athletics Ticket Office at 417-836-7678 or online at www.MissouriStateTix.com.