Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Griffons Open Up MIAA Play at Home Against Pittsburg State

Setting the Scene:
The Griffons have opened up the 2010-2011 season going 2-1. After losing the first game of the season the Griffons have won the last two. Western fell to Northern Michigan in the season opener and then beat Upper Iowa and Rockhurst. Western is 1-1 on a neutral floor this season and 1-0 at home. The Griffons two victory have come by an average of 27.5 points. The Gorillas are 2-2 entering the contest. The Gorillas at 0-2 on the road this season falling to Central Oklahoma 71-56 in Edmond, Okla. and to Arkansas-Fort Smith 63-57 in overtime to open the season. Western defeated the Gorillas last season at home by a score of 74-67 on January 23, 2010.

The Last Time against the Gorillas in a home MIAA opener:
The last time the Griffons took on the Gorillas in a home MIAA opener was back on December 3, 2008. The Griffons fell 74-67 in front of 1,289 fans. Western was led Jessica Koch as she dumped in 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting and making 7-of-9 free throws. Tierra Ford scored 14 points while Nikki Boone and Lauren Nolke dumped in 13 and 12 respectively. The Gorillas were led by Caitlin Demarest with 18 points while Laura Glenn poured in 11.

Last season against the Gorillas in the MIAA opener:
The Missouri Western women’s basketball team struggled in the second half in their MIAA opener against the Pittsburg State University Gorillas scoring only 13 second half points on their way to a 60-43 defeat. The Griffons were led by Kayla Vice as she had 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Jessica Koch finished the night with eight points and nine rebounds while Tierra Ford dumped in seven points for Western. The Gorillas had three players in double digit scoring with Glenn leading the way with 15 points. Nicole McCombs and Drew Roberts had 13 and 11 respectively. The Gorillas out rebounded the Griffons 42-34 overall and 25-14 in the second half.

Last season in the Griffon home MIAA opener:
The Missouri Western women’s basketball team lost their MIAA home opener 71-62 in front of 1,101 fans at the MWSU Fieldhouse.  Western was down by as many as 13 in the second half, but battled their way back.  Leading the Griffons, with career highs of 12 and 11 points, respectively, were freshman Charlonda Bozeman and Kallie Schoonover. Emporia State was led on the night by Cassondra Boston, Alli Volkens and Brittney Miller with 25, 11 and 10 points, respectively.  Volkens recorded a double-double, as she also added 14 rebounds.

Scouting the Griffons:
The Griffons have averaged 73.0 points and given up 59.7 points per game. Western has shot 40.3-percent (81-201) from the field and 29.1-percent (23-79) from long range. The Griffons have made 34-of-45 free throw attempts and out-rebounded their opponents 46.0 to 45.0 per game. The Griffons have 41 assists on the season to go along with 41 turnovers and 28 steals. The Griffons are led by Jessica Koch averaging 17.3 points per game. Rachel Luteyn is averaging 12.7 points per contest. Lauren Nolke and Brenna Saline have chipped in 11 and 10.3 points per contest.  Saline leads the squad at 9.0 rebounds per game while Luteyn and Koch are collecting 7.3 per contest. Colleen Schneider and Saline have both made 10-of-21 field goal attempts while Nolke and Koch have dished out 10 assist.

Series vs. the Gorillas:
Pitt State and Missouri Western have met almost regularly twice a year since the 1976-77 season. Missouri Western leads the overall series 47-18, including a 18-13 record in Pittsburg, a 26-5 mark in St. Joseph and a 3-0 record a neutral sites. The longest run of wins between the two teams was a seven-win streak by the Griffons from March 3, 2005 to Jan. 23, 2008. Pitt State broke the streak by winning a 73-65 decision on Feb. 13, 2008. The Griffons snapped the Gorillas longest winning steak last season as the Gorillas were in the midst of their longest streak in the series, as it had won last four meetings between the two teams. The largest margin of victory in the series was a 29-point win (94-65) by the Griffons on Feb. 23, 1985 in St. Joseph. Pitt State’s biggest win was a 95-71 win in Pittsburg on Jan. 19, 2005. The most points scored by a team in the series was 101 by the Gorillas in a 101-82 win on Jan. 24, 1996 in Pittsburg.

About the Opponent:
Pittsburg State women’s basketball is off to a 2-2 start, going 0-2 on the road this season. The Gorillas defeated Oklahoma-Panhandle State 66-34 on November 13 and Newman University 83-71 on November 16 in PSU’s only home game of the season. The Gorillas fell to Arkansas-Fort Smith 63-57 in overtime to open the season and then fell to Central Oklahoma 71-56 on November 23 in Edmond, Okla. Drew Roberts and Courtney Tate have both led the Gorillas in scoring twice. Roberts leads the charge scoring 14.5 points per game shooting 40.0-percent (10-25) from beyond the arc. Tate is the only other Gorillas scoring in double figures averaging 11.3 points per contest. Kylee Baldetti lead PSU on the boards averaging 7.5 per contest while Alexa Bordewick has dished out 12 assists. As a team the Gorillas are shooting 38.0-percent (87-229) from the field and 33.7-percent (33-98) from long range. The Gorillas and its opponents are even on the boards both snaring 42.5 rebounds per game, but PSU has giving up 60 offensive rebounds to its 51. The Gorillas shoot 67.1-percent (55-82) from the free throw line and have 47 assists and 18 blocks. The Gorillas have out scored its opponents 132 to 120 in the first half and 127 to 110 in the second half this season.

Second Half Dominance
The Missouri  Western women are dominating their opponents in the second half outscoring them by a total of 28 points. The Griffons outscored the Rockhurst Hawks 44-31 in the last contest in the second half behind 11 second half points from Jessica Koch. Against Upper Iowa in the QU Subway Tipoff Classic the Griffons outscored the Peacocks 47-24 in the second half with 13 points coming from Rachel Luteyn in the second frame. The Griffons also outrebounded the Peacocks 30-18 with 10 coming on the offensive end of the floor. In the first game of the season against Northern Michigan the Griffons were outscored 38-30 in the second half with Koch dumping in 9 second half points.

Balance Throughout the Lineup
The Griffons have had a very balanced attack with Koch leading the charge. Koch has led the Griffons twice in points while Lauren Nolke led the Griffons with 19 against Upper Iowa. Brenna Saline has led the Griffons twice in rebounds with 10 and 11 respectively while Luteyn Led the Griffon against Rockhurst with 11. Nolke has led the Griffons twice in assists with four and five while Koch led the Griffons with four against Rockhurst. Koch has led the Griffons in steals in all three games with 3, 5 and 3 respectively. Luteyn had a dominating game against Rockhurst with five blocked shots and collected a double-double.

The Griffons have five players scoring seven or more points with four players scoring in double figures. ON the boards the Griffons have four players snaring five or more rebounds per contest with Saline leading the charge with nine per game. Western has two players with 10 assists and one player with 11 steals. Six Griffons are shooting 40.0-percent or better from the field while four different Griffons are shooting 80-percent or better from the free throw line.

On the Internet:
If you can’t make it to the game you can watch live stats at www.gogriffons.com/xlive_WBB.asp. You can listen to the game at http://www.gogriffons.com/webcast.asp and you can watch the game at www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=289 for a minimal cost.

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