Lady Bears Begin Two-Game Road Trip at Saint Louis Saturday
Missouri State Lady Bears (1-3) vs. Saint Louis Billikens (1-4)When: Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. Where: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Mo. Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM Television: Mediacom Live Stats: www.missouristatebears.com
Game OverviewThe Missouri State Lady Bears (1-3) will open a two-game road trip this Saturday evening with a 7 p.m. match-up against the Saint Louis Billikens (1-4). Missouri State has dominated the series with SLU, taking 11 of the 13 meetings, and will look to rebound from Wednesday night’s 56-51 loss to Oral Roberts.
The Billikens enter Saturday night’s game having lost three straight contests after knocking off Western Michigan in their inaugural game in their new home facility, Chaifetz Arena, on Nov. 16. SLU is coming off a 68-56 setback to Creighton (Nov. 26) in which it took a seven-point lead into the locker room at halftime, only to see the Bluejays rally for the win.
Following Saturday’s game Missouri State begins a brutal stretch of its non-conference schedule that includes four straight contests against teams that appeared in the postseason in 2007-08. The Lady Bears travel to Green Bay for a Wednesday (Dec. 3) night match-up against the Phoenix, followed by home tilts with Western Kentucky (Dec. 7), DePaul (Dec. 10) and UALR (Dec. 14).
Saturday’s game will be televised on Mediacom (MCC-14) in Springfield, with Don West and Whitney Scott describing the action.
After Missouri State had taken a 35-29 lead on a Jasmine Malone layup with 11:44 to play, ORU used a 15-3 scoring run to seize the lead for good. Mariana Camargo’s basket started a string of nine unanswered points and a spurt that saw the visitors ultimately build a six-point advantage.
The Golden Eagles’ defense stiffened as well, allowing only five MSU points over a six and-a-half minute span. Missouri State, which shot just .328 from the floor in the contest, rallied to pull within one on two occasions, and had several opportunities to close the gap from the foul line late in the game. But the Lady Bears struggled from the charity stripe as well, converting just 4-of-11 (.364) shots on the night.
The victory for ORU did not come without a fight from a young, but hungry Missouri State team. The Lady Bears turned in a solid defensive effort in the first 20 minutes of the contest, forcing 13 turnovers in the opening period. The Lady Bears got off to a sluggish start offensively, connecting on just 28.6 percent (10-of-35) of their first-half field goal attempts. Missouri State hit just one of its first 11 shots from the field as ORU built a 7-2 lead.
But back-to-back baskets by Casey Garrison and Jacque Griggs sparked a 15-3 scoring run that put MSU up 17-13 with just under eight minutes to play in the half.
Voelker answered with field goals on successive possessions to knot the score and start a 10-3 run for ORU. A Noelia Quintas jumper with 5:31 to go gave the Golden Eagles a 19-17 edge and, after Garrison responded with a three-pointer on MSU’s next trip down the floor to vault the Lady Bears back into the lead, the visitors scored on jumpers from Jones and Camargo to grab a 23-20 advantage.
Garrison’s running banker with just two seconds left in the period pulled MSU back to within one at the break, and when the Lady Bears opened the second stanza by scoring 11 of the first 13 points to take its largest lead of the game, all signs pointed to a repeat of MSU’s second-half performance from Sunday against Arkansas State, when it scored the first 15 points after intermission to take control of a close ballgame.
But ORU’s veteran cast came through down the stretch to withstand Missouri State’s challenge. Jones (12 points), Pryor (10 points) and Camargo (10 points) also finished in double figures to help ORU overcome a 25-turnover night and send the Lady Bears to their third defeat in four contests this season.
Garrison led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting. The Bolivar, Mo., product also recorded game-highs of six steals and four assists. Griggs also turned in a solid effort for MSU, totaling 10 points, two steals and five rebounds.
The CoachesNyla Milleson (Kansas State, ’85) is in her second season as the head coach at Missouri State with an 12-22 mark as the Lady Bears’ mentor and an overall record of 197-58 in eight years as a collegiate head coach. Milleson led the Lady Bears to an 11-19 mark and a fifth-place Missouri Valley Conference finish in 2007-08. Prior to taking the reins of the MSU program, the Goodland, Kan., native guided Drury University to a 185-36 record 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, advancing 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. (See page 7 for a complete bio)
Last year in Springfield SLU ended a near-30-year drought in the series, stopping MSU’s streak of eight straight victories in the series with a 69-51 win at Hammons Student Center. The Billikens dominated the post throughout, shooting a season-high .533 from the field, while outrebounding MSU by a 41-29 margin and outscoring the Lady Bears 42-20 in the paint. Theresa Lisch led the way for the Billikens with a 17-point, nine-rebound effort in her first game of season after missing SLU’s first eight games due to injury
The Lady Bears are 13-4 all-time versus the current membership of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Scouting Saint Louis
SLU has struggled on the defensive end of the court, allowing the opposition to shoot 43 percent from the floor en route to giving up an average of 78.6 points per contest. The Bills have been outscored by an average of 10 points per game due in large part to their opponents’ ability to get to the foul line. In five games the opposition has shot 136 free throws, an average of over 27 attempts per contest, and converted 102 of those."Q" RatingAfter compiling a 325-108 record in Hammons Student Center over the last 32 seasons, the Lady Bears dedicated their new $67 million home facility, JQH Arena, Nov. 23, with a 61-52 win over Arkansas State.
The "Q" is the fourth regular home of Missouri State women’s basketball in the 40-year history of the program. The Lady Bears utilized both McDonald Arena and the Greenwood Laboratory School gym from 1969 until Hammons Student Center opened in 1976. MSU continued to play some of its home games at McDonald through the 1979-80 season.
The Lady Bears dropped their first game at Hammons to Iowa State by an 81-62 score on Dec. 11, 1976.
Missouri State will be looking to add to its streak of 18 consecutive seasons ranked in the top 20 nationally in average attendance, which includes the 1992-93 campaign when the Lady Bears led all of Division I in that category. Last year, MSU averaged 5,158 fans per home game, good for 20th in the nation.
The Lady Bears’ new home was made possible by a $30 million gift from MSU alumnus John Q. Hammons and will feature seating for more than 11,000 fans, 24 suites, the PRIME Overtime Club and the Missouri State University Hall of Fame and Legacy of Competition.
Garrison HonoredFreshman guard Casey Garrison capped a week that saw the Lady Bears christen a new home and earn their first win of the 2008-09 season by picking up the Missouri Valley Conference’s Newcomer of the Week award for the period November 17-23, the league office announced Monday (Nov. 24).
Garrison’s 21-point, seven-rebound performance paved the way for Missouri State’s 61-52 win over Arkansas State Sunday (Nov 23) in their inaugural game at JQH Arena. The 5-11 freshman went 7-of-15 from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line and scored eight of her game- and career-high 21 points during a 15-0 Missouri State scoring run at the start of the second half that turned the tide in what was a 28-28 game at intermission. The Bolivar, Mo., product also knocked down a critical 18-footer with 1:57 left in the game that gave MSU a 54-50 lead moments after the Red Wolves had cut what was once a 16-point margin to just two points.Her performance Sunday came on the heels of a 10-point, four-assist effort against Tulsa on Wednesday (Nov. 19) night. In that contest, a 64-56 Lady Bear loss, Garrison also grabbed seven boards to lead MSU in rebounding for the second straight game.
For the week, she went 11-of-23 (.478) from the field and 6-of-7 (.857) from the free throw line and led Missouri State in scoring (15.5) and assists (2.5), while pulling down 7.0 rebounds per outing. Turning the PageThe Lady Bears combined with Arkansas State to commit 56 turnovers in Sunday’s game. That figure represents the most turnovers recorded in a Missouri State game in nearly seven years, dating back to a Dec. 29, 2001 match-up with Bradley. The Lady Bears’ 34 turnovers against ASU just missed the MSU single-game record for giveaways held by the 1988-89 squad, which committed 37 against Indiana State in a 107-103 quadruple overtime loss (1/28/89). The Missouri State single-game record in a non-overtime contest is 36, recorded on Nov. 29, 1998, in a 79-59 setback to Old Dominion.November BluesWith their win over Arkansas State Sunday (Nov. 23), the Lady Bears stopped a seven-game losing streak in the month of November. MSU has won just nine of its 26 games in November since the start of the 2002-03 season, but maintains a 45-43 record in the month since making the move to Division I in 1982.
The Lady Bears’ fortunes on the road in the first month of the season have been even more dire. Missouri State has lost 16 consecutive road contests in November, dating back to an 85-47 pasting of Missouri-St. Louis on November 26, 1983.
Roberson came through with an even bigger effort Sunday (Nov. 23) in the Lady Bears’ win over Arkansas State. She posted career highs in a number of statistical categories, including points (16), rebounds (3), free throws (6), three-point field goals (2), assists (3) and blocks (2).
Edie became the fourth and final member of the Lady Bears’ fall signing class Nov. 17. The 6-1 forward has already totaled more than 1,900 points and 1,000 rebounds for her high school career at Exeter High. Last year she averaged over 26 points and 12 boards per outing in helping Exeter to its first-ever district title in girl’s basketball. Edie has failed to reach double digits in scoring in just one of 81 games as a prep.
Shorter helped lead Booker T. Washington High School to a 23-4 overall record and the Oklahoma Class 5A state title in 2007-08, averaging 10 points and five rebounds per contest. At 6-2, Shorter brings the versatility to play the post or step out to a wing spot where she can exploit her athleticism and ability to run the floor. She chose the Lady Bears over the likes of Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and New Mexico State.
Smith was a first-team All-District 6-5A selection last season after averaging 16.7 points, seven boards and four assists in helping Coppell High go 20-16. A versatile athlete with the strong passing and shooting abilities, Smith can play on the block as well as the perimeter, where she has the ability to stretch defenses with her shooting range.
Stock averaged just under 10 points and four boards last season in her first year playing at Nixa High. The 6-3 post helped the Lady Eagles to a 19-8 record last year. Stock originally committed to the Lady Bears during her sophomore year at Salisbury (Mo.) High School, where she was an MBCA Class 2 All-State selection in 2006-07.Bears Live and Lady Bears Gameday GuideSaturday's game will be shown on Missouri State’s on-line video channel, Bears Live -- a new, premium broadband video destination for exclusive live and on-demand Missouri State streaming video and audio content. Fans wanting to watch Bears and Lady Bears basketball through the Bears Live feature can subscribe at www.missouristatebears.com.
Missouri State fans who subscribe to the Bears Live video streaming service will be able to watch 22 men’s and 20 women’s basketball games live on their computer in 2008-09. All home games will be streamed with the exception of regionally and nationally televised games.
Links to live game stats (when available) and KTXR’s free, on-line broadcast of every Missouri State women’s basketball game can be found on the Lady Bears’ Gameday page located on the MSU Athletics Web site.On this Date...November 29, 2006 Missouri State 82, Portland State 69 The Lady Bears withstood a stiff challenge from a tough Portland State squad, getting a career night from junior forward Tiff Terwelp to pull away late for their second win of the 2006-07 season. Terwelp went 10-of-17 from the floor to total 26 points and matched a career high with 15 rebounds, as the Lady Bears outscored the Vikings 24-8 over a seven-minute stretch to turn a 58-58 tie into a 13-point victory. Five Lady Bears finished in double-figures, including junior guard Tahnee Balerio, who tallied 20 points, and freshman guard Roxy Stiles, who equaled her career-best scoring night with 14 points. Stiles knocked down a critical three-pointer with 7:04 remaining that gave Missouri State a 63-58 lead and some much-needed breathing room after allowing a double-digit lead to slip away earlier in the half. Lady Bear CaptainsSeniors Jamie Adams, Tiffany Coppage and Maggie Dwyer will serve as tri-captains for the 2008-09 season. Coppage is a repeat choice to lead the team after filling the same role last year alongside seniors Tahnee Balerio and Tiff Terwelp. Roster RefreshThe 2008-09 Lady Bears’ roster includes three seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and six freshmen. The 12-member group includes six returning letterwinners and six newcomers. The Lady Bears return two starters from last season, including All-MVC second-team forward Maggie Dwyer. Junior guard Melissa Busby and senior guard Tiffany Coppage also spent some time in MSU’s starting lineup in 2007-08. Other returnees include senior forward Jamie Adams, junior guard Roxy Stiles and sophomore forward Jacque Griggs. Newcomers include Lacey Boshe, Casey Garrison, Morgan Harrington, Jasmine Malone, Jaleshia Roberson and Regan Soldner. Junior guard Kendra Roberts will sit out the upcoming season after transferring to MSU from Arkansas. On StandbyThe Lady Bears will have to wait until the 2009-10 season to obtain the services of junior guard Kendra Roberts, who joined the Missouri State program in June after playing her first two collegiate campaigns at the University of Arkansas.
Roberts will sit out this season per NCAA transfer guidelines and have two years of eligibility remaining.Preseason PicksMissouri State was picked to finish sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll of coaches, media and sports information directors. The Lady Bears received 215 points to finish behind Illinois State, Creighton, Drake, Evansville and UNI.
Illinois State became the fourth team in MVC history to be a unanimous selection as the preseason No. 1 team and the first since 2001-02 when Drake received all 37 votes from the panel. The other two unanimous choices were the 1986-87 and 1987-88 Southern Illinois squads.
Senior forward Maggie Dwyer was named to the league’s preseason all-conference team after earning second-team honors last season. The Grand Haven, Mich., native was also named MVC Newcomer of the Year in 2007-08, her first with MSU after transferring from Michigan State.Back In BusinessIn going 9-9 in the MVC last season, the Lady Bears posted their first .500 finish in conference play since the 2004-05 campaign. Missouri State won at least 11 conference games in each of its first 13 years in the league, capturing eight regular-season crowns before falling to 7-11 in 2005-06 and finishing 10th at 3-15 in 2006-07. Second-Half Surge The Lady Bears’ offensive turnaround over their last 16 conference games of 2007-08 was remarkable on several different levels. MSU outscored its opponents 70.6 to 68.6 points per game in going 9-7 over that stretch, shooting 41.1 percent from the floor, including 37.5 percent from three-point range. The Lady Bears also converted 72.3 percent of their free throws in those 16 games. In contrast, MSU was outscored by an average of 14.3 points per game in starting the season with just two wins in its first 13 games. The Lady Bears shot 34.8 percent from the field, 30.7 percent from beyond the arc and just 66.5 percent from the foul line. MSU committed an average of 3.1 fewer turnovers, recorded 2.7 more assists and 1.6 more steals per game over its last 16 contests compared to the first half of the season. Missouri State All-TimeMissouri State is in its 40th season of women’s collegiate basketball and has an all-time record of 665-458 (.592). 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 Postseason RunOne or both of the MSU basketball teams have made postseason appearances in all but one of the last 23 years.
With last year’s 11-19 finish, the Lady Bears missed the postseason for just the second time since the 1996-97 season. The MSU women have seen postseason action in nine of the past 11 years and in 15 out of the last 18 seasons, dating back to the 1990-91 campaign.Affiliation
Missouri State is in its 27th NCAA Division I season and 17th MVC year. MSU was in AIAW competition on the state, regional and national levels through the 1981-82 season, moved to Division I and Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference play in 1982-83 and started MVC competition in 1992-93 when the Gateway underwent a rebranding initiative.