Missouri State Lady Bears (2-7) vs. Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (5-4)
Missouri State Lady Bears (2-7) vs. Chattanooga Lady Mocs (6-4)
What: Caribbean Classic When: Friday, Dec. 19-20, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. Where: Moon Palace Resort, Cancun, Mexico
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM
Live Stats: none Video: none
The Missouri State Lady Bears will look to build some momentum heading into Missouri Valley Conference play as they close out the non-conference season with a pair of games in the Caribbean Classic this weekend in Cancun, Mexico. Missouri State will square off against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks Friday (Dec. 19) before matching up against the Chattanooga Lady Mocs to wrap up the two-game event on Saturday (Dec. 20). Both contests are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. starts.
The Lady Bears will be shooting for their second consecutive victory after defeating UALR, 53-49, Sunday to halt a five-game losing streak. The Caribbean Classic will be MSU’s second venture to Mexico. The Lady Bears went 2-0 to win the Fun in the Sun Shootout in December 2005, defeating Illinois-Chicago and Oral Roberts.
SFA is also coming off a streak-ending victory, a 66-63 win over New Orleans Saturday that stopped a three-game skid, while Chattanooga dropped a five-point decision at Clemson on Monday before hosting Elon Wednesday evening.
Missouri State is 8-4 all-time in games played outside of the 48 contiguous states
The Lady Bears need one victory in the Caribbean Classic to avoid matching their worst non-conference showing since the 1985-86 season
MSU head coach Nyla Milleson needs two victories to reach the 200-win plateau after earning the 198th victory of her collegiate coaching career with Sunday’s 53-49 decision over UALR
MSU is shooting .756 from the free throw line while outscoring the opposition 65-36 from the stripe in its last three games
Last Time Out
After struggling from the charity stripe for much of the afternoon, the Lady Bears made their free throws when it mattered most in a 53-49 non-conference victory over the University of Arkansas-Little Rock at JQH Arena. The Lady Bears converted 9-of-10 free throws over the final 1:13 of regulation to overcome a late four-point deficit and escape with their second win of the 2008-09 season.
MSU hit just nine of its first 18 free throws, but was successful on 12 of its final 13 and scored its last nine points of the game at the line as part of a 12-4 offensive spurt that turned the tables in the Lady Bears’ favor for good. Maggie Dwyer’s two tosses with just over one minute to play gave MSU a 46-45 edge, its first lead since taking a one-point lead on the first possession of the second half, and started the Lady Bears’ string of success at the stripe. After Casey Garrison hit the first of five free throws she would convert in the final minute of the game, MSU got a key defensive stop when Lacey Boshe blocked a Kim Sitzmann jumper on the baseline. Garrison corralled the loose ball and was fouled, sending the freshman guard back to the line, where she calmly hit two more throws with 0:18 to go to put MSU up 49-45.
UALR’s Shanika Butler registered a couple of quick buckets for the visitors, but Garrison and Boshe stepped to the line and sealed the win with four more successful tries.
Garrison, who finished 9-of-12 at the line, paced the Missouri State attack with 15 points, while Boshe notched her third straight 12-point effort and matched a career-high with six rebounds. Dwyer also posted a career performance on the boards, totaling nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Despite a fast start that saw the Lady Bears build an early eight-point lead, MSU shot just 30.8 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from the foul line in the first half and trailed UALR, 23-22, at the break. UALR’s Anshel Cooper knocked down 6-of-13 field goal attempts in the opening period to tally 13 of her game-high 24 points. The Trojans also struggled to find their offensive rhythm, hitting just 10-of-29 (.345) from the field in a defensive battle that featured five lead changes in the first 20 minutes of action.
Missouri State started strong behind the inside tandem of Boshe and Jacque Griggs, who combined to score 10 of the Lady Bears’ first 12 points. MSU grabbed a 12-4 lead on Boshe’s third field goal of the game at the 13:56 mark, only to see the Trojans reel off 11 unanswered points over the ensuing 3:10 to claim a 15-12 advantage. MSU bounced back, scoring nine of the next 12 points before UALR closed the half on a 5-1 run.
UALR outscored MSU 10-4 to open the second half, getting back-to-back lay-ups off of steals by Sitzmann and Cooper to push the margin to seven, matching its largest lead of the game, with 14:35 left on the clock. The Trojans led 38-31 when Garrison drained a pair of free throws to start a 6-0 spurt that would pull the Lady Bears to within one at the 7:18 mark.
Cooper answered for the Trojans by hitting a 15-foot jumper, then Sitzmann buried a three-pointer from the right corner to make it a six-point game once again.
But the Lady Bears came right back with a Garrison lay-in and two free throws from Boshe to slice the UALR lead to 43-41 with just over four minutes left on the clock. UALR’s Marion Kursh’s putback of a Chastity Reed miss made it a four-point game with 2:41 to go, but Jaleshia Roberson drilled her second critical three-point field goal of the second half to spark an 8-0 run that would vault the Lady Bears back into the lead.
Nyla Milleson (Kansas State, ’85) is in her second season as the head coach at Missouri State with a 13-26 mark as the Lady Bears’ mentor and an overall record of 198-62 in eight-plus years as a collegiate head coach. Milleson entered the 2008-09 season as the 24th winningest active coach (.7809 win percentage) at all NCAA levels with at least five years head coaching experience. She 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)
Lee Ann Riley (Baylor, ’85) is in her eighth season at SFA with a mark of 121-95 at the school and a career record of 252-153 in 14 seasons as a head coach. Riley has guided the Ladyjacks to three 20+ win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure at SFA. The 2006 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Riley led SFA to SLC regular-season and tournament titles and a 23-8 overall mark that year. She also led the Ladyjacks to a sweep of the two league crowns in 2002, her rookie year as head coach. Prior to taking over in Nacogdoches, Riley served one year as associate head coach at Missouri after leading Tyler JC to a 131-58 mark in six seasons, capped by a NJCAA championship in 1999-2000.
Wes Moore (Tennessee, ’86) is in 250-70 in his 11th season as head coach of Chattanooga and 450-126 in 20 seasons overall. The fifth-winningest active head coach in the NCAA ranks, Moore has guided the Lady Mocs to nine straight Southern Conference regular-season titles and seven NCAA Tournament berths during his tenure. Five times Moore has been named SoCon Coach of the Year and he is the only head coach in the nation to lead three different teams to postseason appearances at three different NCAA levels (I, II and III). Prior to accepting the Chattanooga job, the Texas City, Texas, native led Division II Francis Marion to a 69-20 mark in three years, including a D-II Final Four appearance in 1997-98. He has also made coaching stops at North Carolina State as an assistant and Division III Maryville College.
The Lady Bears have faced SFA just one time previously, claiming an 81-75 victory in Lawrence, Kan. on Dec. 1, 1984.
MSU overcame the performance of SFA’s Antoinette Norris, who pulled down a Ladyjacks’ and MSU opponent-record 27 rebounds. Lady Bear All-American Jeanette Tendai turned in a dominant performance as well, finishing with 25 points and 17 boards.
Saturday’s meeting with Chattanooga will be the first-ever match-up between the Lady Bears and Lady Mocs. Missouri State is 7-4 all-time versus the current membership of the Southland Conference and 1-1 against schools from the SoCon.
Scouting Stephen F. Austin
SFA enters Friday’s game 5-4 after ending a three-game skid with its three-point home win over New Orleans this past weekend. Two of the Ladyjacks losses have come at the hands of nationally-ranked Big 12 foes. SFA dropped a 77-42 decision at seventh-ranked Baylor (Nov. 21), then fell at home to No. 4 Texas A&M on Dec. 2.
The guard-oriented Ladyjacks, who went 12-17 en route to a fifth-place Southland Conference finish in 2007-08, were the preseason pick to win the SLC’s East Division and return nine letterwinners and four starters. However, it has been a freshman setting the pace for the SFA offense so far, as 5-6 guard Tammara Marion has averaged a team-best 10.9 points per game. The Ladyjacks top three-point threat, Marion has knocked down 17-of-46 (.370) long-range attempts while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor overall. SFA’s top returning scorer, senior guard Natasha Green, has matched her offensive production from a year ago, contributing 9.6 ppg. off the Ladyjacks’ bench. Junior guard Whitney Cormier is the club’s top rebounder, pulling down 5.2 boards per contest to go along with a 7.3 ppg. scoring average. Sophomore guard Ebony Alexander has recorded a team-high 29 assists through the first nine games while averaging 8.1 points per outing. SFA’s top performer on the frontline, 5-10 sophomore Jordan Ford, is chipping in 5.3 points and 4.3 boards per game for the Ladyjacks.
As a team SFA is scoring an average of 59.0 points per contest and shooting .363 from the field, including a 30.8 percent mark from three-point range.The Ladyjacks have turned the ball over at an alarming rate of 23.3 times, but have limited the opposition to just 64.7 points per game.
Entering its Wednesday night game against Elon, Chattanooga was off to a 6-4 start that included wins over East Tennessee State, Akron, Samford, Alabama A&M, Furman and Wofford. The Lady Mocs have played a difficult non-conference slate so far, with their four setbacks coming at Middle Tennessee and Clemson, as well as home losses to Richmond and two-time defending national champion Tennessee, which held on for just a three-point win at McKenzie Arena on Nov. 21.
Chattanooga reeled off 24 straight wins a year ago before falling to Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament en route to a 29-4 campaign. The Lady Mocs return two starters and seven letterwinners, led by junior Shanara Hollinquest. The 6-0 forward paces Chattanooga’s attack with her 16.5 ppg. and 8.1 rpg. Aveages. She ranked 29th in the nation in field goal percentage entering the week, shooting at a 56.7 percent clip. A trio of Lady Mocs lend balance to an offense that was 45th among all Division I programs in scoring margin (+13.3) through Sunday’s games. Junior guard Jenaya Wade-Fray was Chattanooga’s second-leading scorer (9.9 ppg.) and assister (3.1 apg.), and senior forward Erin Ogan was averaging 9.5 points and just over six rebounds per outing while shooting .353 from three-point range though Monday’s game. Another senior, guard LaCondra Mason was also contributing more than nine points and pulling down 6.3 boards per game.
As a team the Lady Mocs rank among the nation’s top three-point shooting clubs, averaging just under eight triples per contest while shooting .367 from beyond the arc.
Maybe in Mexico
Missouri State will be looking to reverse its luck in games played on a neutral court this weekend. Since its last trip to Cancun in December 2005, MSU has dropped four straight neutral site games. Prior to their current dry spell in such games, the Lady Bears had claimed victory in nine of their previous 11 games played on a neutral court dating back to their Final Four run in 2001.
Free and Easy
After converting just 64.9 percent of their free throw attempts in the season’s first six contests, the Lady Bears have heated up from the charity stripe over their last three outings. MSU has knocked down 65-of-86 (.756) free throws, outscoring the opposition by 29 points at the foul line in the three-game stretch.
The Lady Bears have connected from three-point range a minimum of three times in seven of their nine games this season and have hit at least one triple in 27 consecutive contests dating back to a 72-42 loss at Drake on Jan. 4, 2008. Prior to their 0-of-10 showing in that game, the Lady Bears had a 36-game streak of at least one three going. Dating back to the 2001-02 season, MSU has hit at least one trifecta in 185 of 187 games, highlighted by a 129-game stretch where they connected at least once from long distance in each outing.
Home Sweet Home
Missouri State has won just two of its five games in JQH Arena thus far in 2008-09 but, over their recently-completed three-game home stand, the Lady Bears have shown signs that they are growing more comfortable in their new home. After averaging just 56 points per outing in their first two home dates, the Lady Bears have put up 60.0 ppg. in losses to Western Kentucky and DePaul and a 53-49 win over UALR, while cutting their turnovers from 23 per game to 16.3 per contest. MSU has found its stroke from the foul line, knocking down 65-of-86 free throw attempts (.756) after hitting just 20-of-36 (.556) in its first two games at JQH. In the 77-70 loss to WKU (Dec. 7), MSU heated up to knock down a season-high 24 field goals en route to its best offensive output of the year.
For the eighth time in nine games, a freshman led the Lady Bears in scoring Sunday in MSU’s 53-49 win over UALR. Casey Garrison knocked down 9-of-12 free throws to tally a team-high 15 points on the night, while fellow freshman Lacey Boshe notched her third consecutive 12-point performance versus the Trojans. Those efforts came on the heels of Wednesday’s contest against DePaul in which another Lady Bears frosh, Jasmine Malone totaled a career-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the foul line. The San Antonio, Texas, native also corralled a team-high six rebounds.
So far this season, six freshmen have accounted for 77.7 percent of the Lady Bears’ offense in the five MSU home dates. Garrison continues to pace the Missouri State offense, scoring at an 18.0 ppg. clip in JQH Arena, while Boshe is also scoring in double figures at home with a 10.0 ppg. average. Garrison and Malone have combined to knock down 39-of-46 (.848) free throw attempts at home.
Two Missouri State freshman found their way into the Lady Bears’ starting lineup to open the season Nov. 14 at SEMO, marking the third straight year MSU has started a pair of freshmen in its season opener. Garrison and Malone each drew starting assignments versus SEMO, as six Lady Bear freshmen in all made their Missouri State debuts against the Redhawks. Morgan Harrington became the seventh MSU freshman to see court time when she made her first collegiate appearance at Tulsa (Nov. 19). Harrington has seen her playing time steadily increase after missing the season opener at SEMO while recovering from a high ankle sprain.
Roberson and Boshe cracked the MSU starting lineup Nov. 23 versus Arkansas State, and combined with Garrison, Malone and fellow freshman Regan Soldner to total 53 of the Lady Bears’ 61 points. Lady Bear rookies have combined to account for 67.4 percent of MSU’s offense this season.
Stealing the Show
Two Missouri State freshmen are among the Missouri Valley Conference’s leaders in steals per game and key factors in Missouri State’s rise to the top of the Valley’s team steals leaderboard. Casey Garrison enters the Caribbean Classic third in individual steals with a 2.2 spg. average, while fellow freshman guard Jasmine Malone (1.9) is ninth, just three steals behind Garrison.
As a team Missouri State leads the Valley with a 10.0 spg. average in that same category.
After 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
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.
Freshman guard Casey Garrison was named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Newcomer of the Week for the second time in 2008-09 on Dec. 8. The Bolivar, Mo., product’s 33-point performance in MSU’s near-upset of Western Kentucky (Dec. 7) represented the second-highest point total in school history for a Lady Bear freshman.
Garrison averaged team highs of 26.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 steals, 1.0 block in losses to Green Bay and Western Kentucky last week. Against WKU, She played a career-best 37 minutes and went 11-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and 7-of-8 from the foul line. Her performance also marked the best single-game offensive production for a Lady Bear since Tahnee Balerio’s 35-point effort at Bradley on February 15, 2007. The 5-11 guard also handed out four assists, registered three steals and grabbed 11 boards versus the Lady Toppers to record her first career double-double in the 77-70 loss. That effort followed a 19-point, eight-rebound showing at Green Bay Dec. 3 in which she was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.
For the week, Garrison went 16-of-29 (.552) from the field, including 6-of-12 from beyond the three-point arc, and converted 14-of-15 (.933) free throw attempts.
With their win over Arkansas State on Nov. 23, the Lady Bears stopped a seven-game losing streak in the month of November. MSU has won just nine of its 27 games in November since the start of the 2002-03 season, but maintains a 45-44 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 direr. Missouri State has lost 17 consecutive road contests in November, dating back to an 85-47 pasting of Missouri-St. Louis on November 26, 1983.
On the Road Again
Missouri State has found the road to be an unfriendly place over the last four seasons. With its loss at Green Bay on Dec. 3, MSU has gone just 5-37 in road contests since 2004-05 and, including neutral court contests, has lost 41 out of its last 46 games away from home. Three of those five road wins came during a three-week span last January and February, when the Lady Bears knocked off UNI (1/17/08), Bradley (1/19/08) and Southern Illinois (2/8/08). MSU’s three road wins last year was the most recorded by a Lady Bear squad since the 2004-05 campaign.
Lou on the Loose
Freshman guard Jaleshia Roberson’s 13 points against SEMO in the Lady Bears’ season opener (Nov. 14) led all MSU scorers, marking the first time a Lady Bear freshman has led the team in scoring in her debut game since Sarah Klaassen scored 23 points against Tulsa on November 15, 2002.
Roberson came through with an even bigger effort 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).
Buzz Bounces Back
One positive that came from MSU’s loss at Tulsa (Nov. 19) was the successful return of junior guard Melissa Busby from a torn ACL that had sidelined her since Feb. 14. Busby went 4-of-15 from the floor to lead the Lady Bears with 13 points and recorded a game-high four steals in 21 minutes of court time.
In that game, the Edmond, Okla., native moved into sole possession of the No. 10 spot on MSU’s all-time three-point field goals made list. She has dialed it up successfully from long distance 77 times in 52 career games entering this weekend’s action.
The Lady Bears locked up four commitments for the 2009-10 season during the NCAA’s early signing period, which ended November 19. Whitney Edie (Exeter, Mo.), Kelsey Smith (Coppell, Texas), Christiana Shorter (Tulsa, Okla.) and Alyson Stock (Nixa, Mo.) have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Missouri State women’s basketball program for the Fall 2009 semester.
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 Guide
Throughout the 2008-09 season, Lady Bear basketball 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...
December 19, 2005 Missouri State 64, Illinois-Chicago 60 On Missouri State’s last trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, Kari Koch turned in a game-high 22 points to lead the Lady Bears to a semifinal win over UIC in the Fun in the Sun Shootout in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Using just six players, MSU shot .650 from the field in the second half and got a then-career-high 18 points from Tiff Terwelp to outlast the Flames. The Lady Bears would go on to capture the tourney title the following day with a 90-85 win over Oral Roberts.
Lady Bear Captains
Seniors 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Missouri 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.
Missouri State All-Time
Missouri State is in its 40th season of women’s collegiate basketball and has an all-time record of 666-462 (.590). 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 Run
One 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.
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.