Lady Bears try to snap skid against UALR
The Missouri State Lady Bears (0-3) enter Sunday’s (Nov. 25) matchup against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock still searching for their first victory of the 2007-08 season following a 74-54 setback at Arkansas State Tuesday (Nov. 20). UALR comes into Sunday’s game with a 2-2 mark following a 49-39 loss at Rice Tuesday evening in Houston. The Lady Bears knocked off the Trojans, 54-48 last November in Hammons Student Center to notch their first win of the 2006-07 season. This time around, MSU will be looking to stop a seven-game skid dating back to a Feb. 23 win over Creighton. In all, the Lady Bears have dropped 15 of their last 16 games and nine straight on the road.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast locally in Springfield on KTXR 101.3 FM and on the web at www.radiospringfield.com. Live streaming video of the contest can be accessed at UALR’s athletics web site, www.ualrtrojans.com.
Last Time Out: The Lady Bears dropped their third straight contest to start the season with Tuesday’s 74-54 loss at Arkansas State on Tuesday (Nov. 20). After leading by just six at intermission, Arkansas State gained the upper hand for good by hitting five of its first six field-goal attempts in the second half. In all ASU would outscore the Lady Bears 29-13 over the first 11 minutes of the second stanza to build a 22-point advantage. Caroline Starr’s three treys paced the Lady Indians’ attack, as ASU hit 5-of-10 from beyond the arc as a team in the half. MSU converted just 23.1 percent of its field-goal attempts after the break and shot just 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from the foul line for the game. ASU finished with a decisive 26-8 advantage in points off turnovers and a 34-22 edge in points scored in the paint. Missouri State turned in its third consecutive outing of 20+ turnovers to start the season.
Senior forward Tiff Terwelp led the Lady Bears with 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, tying Lynn Strubberg and Roshonda Reed for the third-highest single-game rebound total in Missouri State history. She surpassed her previous single-game high of 16 boards, recorded last December versus Tulsa.
UALR had its own offensive struggles in its 10-point loss at Rice (Nov. 20). The Trojans shot just 26.4 percent from the field, including a 1-for-16 showing from three-point range. Nikya Hughes was the only UALR player to finish in double figures with 10 points.
The Coaches: Nyla Milleson (Kansas State, ’85) is 0-3 in her first season as the head coach at Missouri State and 185-39 overall. The Goodland, Kan., native led Drury University to a 185-36 mark in seven seasons, highlighted by a national runner-up finish in 2003-04. In all, the Lady Panthers made five NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and advanced to the Sweet 16 in four of those years. Milleson was honored as Heartland Conference Coach of the Year four times, as Drury won five conference titles in all.
Joe Foley (Central Arkansas, ’79) is in his
Series Record: The Lady Bears have taken the first six games of their series with UALR. Missouri State pulled out a 54-48 last November in Springfield in the last meeting between the two schools. Sunday’s game will be the first played between the two programs in Little Rock. The Trojans are a perfect 2-0 in home games this season, with wins over Southern Arkansas and Grambling State.
Scouting UALR: The Trojans return a trio of starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 21-10 squad that finished second in the Sun Belt West and established a new school record for wins in a single season. Sophomore guard Kim Sitzmann (14.1 ppg./4.3 apg.) was the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year in 2006-07 and is averaging a team-high 16.8 points per contest through UALR’ s first four games of this season. Another sophomore, 5-10 guard Anshel Cooper (11.9 ppg./4.0 rpg.) is the team’s top returning shooter, having connected on 49.8 percent of her field-goal attempts as a freshman. Senior forward Nikya Hughes led the team in rebounds (7.8) and blocks (1.2) per game in 2006-07, and is currently second on the squad with 12.5 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. averages through the Trojans’ first four games of the season. She is joined in the post by 6-1 freshman Chastity Reed, who is the Trojans’ third-leading scorer (10.8) and top rebounder (7.5) so far in 2007-08.
As a team UALR has outscored its four oppents by an average of 13.3 points per game, due in large part to a stingy defense that is giving up just 50.2 points while forcing over 20 turnovers per contest. The Trojans have hit just over 40 percent (97-of-237) of their field-goal attempts, but just 31.6 percent (18-of-57) of their tries from beyond the three-point arc. They have struggled from the foul line, shooting just .609 (42-of-69). Aside from Sitzmann’s .800 (16-of-20) shooting from the charity stripe, UALR has hit just 53.1 percent of its attempts from the line.
For Openers: With their 92-55 loss at #22 Texas, the Lady Bears are now 20-19 all-time in season openers and have dropped their last four contests on opening night. The 37-point setback is the largest margin of defeat in a MSU season opener since the Lady Bears lost a 43-point decision (94-51) at Arkansas to start the 1985-86 season. It is also MSU’s worst loss since Jan. 6, 2002, when it fell by an 84-47 score at Creighton. This season marks the fifth year in a row Missouri State has played its first game away from Hammons Student Center. Last year, MSU lost to Iowa, 79-70, in its season opener in Kansas City after dropping the first game of 2005-06 at Arkansas State and its 2004-05 opener at Richmond.
MSU vs. Ranked Opponents: MSU’s season opener at #22 Texas was the Lady Bears’ first opener versus a ranked opponent since the 2000-01 season when they defeated #10 LSU, 85-75. MSU is 2-2 all-time versus ranked teams in season openers. The Lady Bears are now 19-35 all-time versus ranked opponents and have lost nine straight against top 25 teams. Missouri State’s last win over a ranked foe came against Gail Goestenkors’ fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils in the 2001 NCAA West Regional semifinal (3/24/01).
On this Date in Lady Bears History: November 25, 2000 - #12 Texas Tech 81, #16 Missouri State 77 - Jackie Stiles’ 38-point effort was not enough to overcome a hot-shooting Texas Tech team that connected on 29-of-55 (.527) from the field. Plenette Pierson scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Red Raiders and Jia Perkins added 20 to help Tech claim the Paradise Jam tournament title.
Climbing the Charts: With her 14-point effort versus Green Bay, Balerio moved up the Lady Bears career scoring chart to No. 24 all-time at MSU. She passed Cindy Hauter (865) and LaWaynta Dawson (867) and needs eight more points to reach Charitee Longstreth in the 23rd spot with 883 points.
Balerio Cracks Career Top 10 Lists: Senior guard Tahnee Balerio moved up to the No. 7 spot on MSU’s career top 10 chart for three-point field-goal attempts by going 2-of-10 from behind the arc against Green Bay (Nov. 17). She surpassed Tina Robbins (317) and enters Sunday’s game with 331 attempts for her MSU career. Balerio also moved past current Lady Bear assistant coach Carly (Deer) Stubblefield for the No. 9 slot on MSU’s all-time three-point field goals list last season with her 72nd career trey in a 68-65 loss at Wichita State (2/3/07). She now has 102 career threes, which is 18 shy of Jamie Bartlett’s 120 in the eighth spot on the chart.
Fowl Shots: Missouri State hit just 5-of-17 free throws in its 74-54 loss at Arkansas State (Nov. 20), marking its lowest single-game percentage since Jan. 26, 1991 when the Lady Bears shot .267 (4-of-15) from the line.
Windex Woman: Senior forward Tiff Terwelp cleaned the glass to the tune of 18 rebounds in the loss at ASU. That effort matched single-game performances by Lynn Strubberg (1/28/83 at Northwest Missouri St.) and Roshonda Reed (1/16/99 at Indiana St.) for the third-highest rebound total in MSU history. Her previous career-high of 16 boards came in a 70-51 loss at Tulsa last December.
Lord Leaves Lady Bears: Sophomore center Ashley Lord has elected to leave the Lady Bear program for personal reasons and will seek a transfer from MSU at the conclusion of the fall semester with the intention of continuing her basketball career at another academic institution. Lord played in all 28 games for the Lady Bears as a freshman in 2006-07, starting 18 contests while averaging 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. This season, the Moran, Kan., native saw action in each of MSU's first three contests, averaging 0.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in just 6.7 minutes of playing time per game.
Welcome Wagon: Milleson and her staff received four commitments to join the Lady Bears in 2008 during the November early signing period. Local products Lacey Boshe (Marshfield, Mo.) and Casey Garrison (Bolivar, Mo.) will be joined by a pair of Texas prep standouts, Jasmine Malone (San Antonio) and Regan Soldner (Southlake) in the class of 2008.
New Look Lady Bears: For the second consecutive season, two Missouri State freshman found their way into the starting lineup in a season opener. Marisha Brown and Jacque Griggs each drew starting assignments versus Texas, as six players in all made their MSU debuts against the Longhorns.
Turnover Troubles: In their convincing 92-55 victory over MSU, Texas forced 29 Lady Bear turnovers, the most committed by a Missouri State squad since Nov. 26, 2002, when the Lady Bears turned the ball over 32 times in an 85-76 win over Southeast Missouri State. After committing 20 turnovers versus Green Bay and 26 against Arkansas State, the Lady Bears are averaging 25 giveaways per game. This marks the second consecutive year MSU has turned the ball over an average of more than 20 times per game through its first three outings of the season. Last year, the Lady Bears committed 20 and 24 turnovers against Seton Hall and Arkansas State, respectively, following a 16-turnover game vs. Iowa in its season opener.
500/500 Club: Tiff Terwelp reached the 500 rebound mark for her MSU career when she grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in MSU’s loss to Illinois State (2/10/07). The Quincy, Ill., native surpassed the 500-point milestone vs. DePaul (12/3/06), and currently has 717 career points, making her just the 16th player in Missouri State history to record both 500 points and 500 rebounds. Sarah Klaassen was the most recent Lady Bear to achieve the feat, finishing her career with 1,045 points and 542 rebounds in 2006. Terwelp surpassed the 700-point mark with a nine-point effort vs. Green Bay on Nov. 17. She needs just 13 more to move onto the Missouri State top 30 career scoring list. She also needs just 13 more rebounds to become the 12th Lady Bear to reach the career 600-rebound mark.
Personnel: The 2007-08 Lady Bears’ roster includes two seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. The 13-member group includes six returning letterwinners and seven newcomers. The Lady Bears return four starters from last season, including All-MVC first team guard Tahnee Balerio. Also returning are 2006-07 starters Tiff Terwelp, Roxy Stiles and Ashley Lord. Other returnees include Melissa Busby and Breton Wyett. Newcomers include Jamie Adams, Marisha Brown, Tiffany Coppage, Maggie Dwyer, Jacque Griggs, Janette Jackson and Jasmyne Watson.
Lady Bear Captains: Senior Tahnee Balerio, senior Tiff Terwelp and junior Tiffany Coppage will serve as tri-captains for the 2007-08 season. This marks the second year in a row Balerio and Terwelp have been selected Lady Bear captains.
Preseason Picks: Missouri State was picked to finish seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll of coaches, media and sports information directors. The Lady Bears received 136 points, while preseason favorite Drake received 24 of 40 first-place votes and 348 total points.
Missouri State All-Time: Missouri State is in its 39th season of women’s collegiate basketball and has an all-time record of 653-439 (.598) for a total of 1,092 games. MSU began formal competition in 1969 and has now posted 26 winning seasons and made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Lady Bears advanced to the Final Four in 1992 and 2001 and the Sweet Sixteen in 1993.
Missouri State Post-Season Run: One or both of the MSU basketball teams have made post-season appearances in each of the last 22 years. With last year’s 7-21 finish, the Lady Bears missed the postseason for the first time since the 1996-97 season. The MSU women have seen postseason action in nine of the past 10 years and in 15 out of the last 17 seasons, dating back to the 1990-91 campaign.
Wyett Moves to No. 2: Junior forward Breton Wyett blocked three shots in the Lady Bears’ loss at SIU (3/1/07) to move into second place on the MSU career blocks list. The Edmond, Okla., native passed Kelly Mago (84) for the second spot in just 51 career games as a Lady Bear. The Edmond, Okla., native needs 130 more blocks to reach Sharon Zeilmann’s school record of 221, and with two blocks against Arkansas State (Nov. 20), Wyett moved onto the MVC’s career top 20 list with 91. Wyett cracked the MSU top 10 list for single season blocks for the second straight year in 2006-07. She completed the campaign with 45 blocks, good for the fourth-highest total in school history. In all, Wyett posted 10 games of three blocks or more last season and led the Valley in blocks per game with a 1.96 average.
On the Road Again: Since snapping a seven-game road losing streak with an 83-76 win over Indiana State in Terre Haute last January, the Lady Bears have dropped their last nine contests on the road and their last 10 away from Hammons Student Center. Over the last two years, Missouri State has won just two true road games and only four of its 29 games away from Hammons.
If You Build It They Will Come: The Lady Bears are playing their 32nd and final season in Hammons Student Center in 2007-08. Missouri State broke ground on the $67 million JQH Arena on Dec. 21, 2006 in the east parking lot adjacent to Hammons. The new 11,000-seat arena is slated for completion in time for the start of the 2008-09 basketball season. Last year the Lady Bears drew 81,349 fans, or an average of 5,424 per contest, good for 18th in the nation. Missouri State has ranked in the top 20 nationally in average attendance in each of the last 17 seasons, including 1992-93 when the Lady Bears led all of Division I in that category. In all, MSU has drawn a total of 1,926,494 spectators for Lady Bear games over the 32-year history of Hammons Student Center, meaning the Lady Bears must average 5,609 in 14 home dates this season to reach the two million markfor total attendance in the building.
Home Sweet Hammons: The Lady Bears are 319-103 (.756) at home since HSC opened in 1976-77. MSU has had 24 winning seasons, four losing campaigns and three seasons at .500 at HSC. The Lady Bears have gone undefeated at HSC six times (1989-90, 1991-92, 1993-94, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2003-04). From Dec. 18, 1990 to Dec. 27, 1992 the Lady Bears won 30 consecutive games at Hammons Student Center. MSU also had a 24-game winning streak dating from Feb. 15, 2003 before falling at home to #1 LSU in December of 2004. Since 1989-90, the Lady Bears have a 246-42 (.854) record at HSC. Over the last 18 seasons, Missouri State has averaged more than 13 wins per season and fewer than three losses in that same time. Missouri State has ranked in the top 15 nationally in attendance for 15 of the last 17 seasons and has been in the top 10 in 11 of those years.
MSU Peaks in The Valley: The Lady Bears are 195-71 all-time against Valley opponents with a 115-20 home record against league foes. Since joining the MVC in 1992, the Lady Bears have won at least a share of eight regular-season titles and seven conference tournaments. Missouri State has played in 10 of the 15 Valley tournament championship games.
More Milestones for Balerio: Balerio hit five three pointers in a game for the fourth time in her MSU career in the Lady Bears’ season-opening loss at Texas (11/11/07). Her final trey of the afternoon with 6:29 left to play represented the 100th three-point field goal of her career. Balerio also grabbed five boards against the Longhorns to top the 200-rebound plateau for her career. In doing so, she became just the ninth Lady Bear to record 800 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists since assists have been recorded. Balerio joined Lisa Davies, Melody Howard, Jenni Lingor, Kari Koch, Jessie McVay, Tina Robbins, Jackie Stiles and Secilia Winkfield as the only MSU players to accomplish the feat.