Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bearcat women host Missouri Southern

Meyer Sports Center •
December 18, 2010 • Bolivar, Mo.
5:30 PM • RADIO: KBFL 99.9 FM

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The SBU Bearcats will renew their long-standing rivalry, as they host the Missouri Southern Lions. The game can be found live on 99.9 KBFL, and streaming online at A live webcast will be availiable as well, at

SBU head coach J.C. Carter is in his third season on the Bearcat bench, where his teams have shown improvement each season. Last year’s 10-18 mark was two games better than Carter’s first year in Bolivar.

After nine straight winning seasons, Maryann Mitts is the winningest coach in Missouri Southern history. Under Mitts’ guidance, the Lions have averaged 17 wins during Mitts’ nine years at the helm and have finished in the upper echelon of the highly competitive Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association six of those nine years.

Missouri Southern leads the series, which dates back to 1975, 36-18. The Lions have taken five of the last seven meetings against SBU.

Ashleigh Gallio gave the Bearcats an early 3-0 lead with the first of her five field goals, but the Pittsburg State Gorillas went on to take control of the game, defeating the Bearcats 69-61. Gallio led the ‘Cats with 15 points, marking the highest-scoring game for the Australian guard this year. Sophomore Kourtni Williams scored 14 points in her first start this year, after putting up 15 while coming off the bench against Truman earlier this week.

Senior Whitney Malone brought down 10 rebounds, in her third game this season with ten or more boards. Courtney Heady scored 11 points and led the Bearcats with 4 assists. SBU scored only 10 points off the bench, most of which came from Jacqui Zelenka, who had nine in just eight minutes on the floor.

• Senior Ashleigh Gallio leads the Bearcats with 9.5 points per game. Gallio had a team-high 15 points last week against Pittsburg State.

• After leading the conference last year, Gallio continues to play a high number of minutes, leading the MIAA with averaging 35.7 this season. Gallio leads the team in assists, (2.8/pg) as well.

• Senior forward Whitney Malone is one of the early front-runners for the MIAA All-Defense team, ranking sixth in the conference in rebounds (8.0/pg) and second in steals (2.8/pg).

• Although the Bearcats have one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the MIAA (62.5 ppg, 10th in the league), They have held opponents to just 58.6 points per game, the second-best average in the conference.

• Last season, the Bearcats hit a conference best 9.8 threes per game. The production from outside has slowed during this season, hitting just 6.0 treys each game (7th in MIAA).

• Senior Courtney Heady has become SBU’s biggest deep threat, averaging 2.3 three pointers made a game, 6th most in the MIAA. Heady is averaging 34% from beyond the arc.

• Since the MIAA season began, SBU leads the conference in steals per game, averaging 9.3 steals in four MIAA matchups.

Missouri Southern will come into Bolivar as winners of three straight, boasting a 3-1 start to the conference season. The key to the Lions attack is their outside shooting; MSSU averages 8 made three-pointers per conference game, most in the MIAA. Against Missouri Western, Erin Rice hit a conference-high five three-pointers, as MSSU won over the Griffons, 67-59.

Senior Jasmine Lovejoy leads the offense, averaging 17.5 points per game, 3rd-most in the league. Lovejoy also leads the conference with a .622 shooting percentage, more than 6% higher than second place. Lovejoy also currently has the highest point-total in a game this year, as she put up 36 points against Arkasas-Fort Smith last month.

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