Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Griffons Set for Show Down with 4th Ranked Lady Blues

Setting the Scene:
The Griffons snapped a two game winning streak the last time out as they defeated the Fort Hay State Tigers 76-58 on Saturday, December 11. The Griffons improve to 3-0 at home and to 2-0 at home in MIAA play. Rachel Luteyn and Jessica Koch collected double-doubles in the contest with Luteyn scoring 21 points and snaring 10 rebounds while Koch collected 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Blues are currently ranked 4th in the nation and hold a perfect 8-0 overall record. They are 4-0 in MIAA play. The Lady Blues have played just one contest on the road which was last Saturday against the Truman State Bulldogs in Kirksville, Mo. Washburn came out with the slim 57-51 victory. The Lady Blues are 2-0 on a neutral floor and 1-0 away from Topeka. Cassie Lombardino led the charge with 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting.

Top Four in Scoring:
The Griffons and the Lady Blues sit in third and fourth in scoring offense this season. The Lady Blues are fourth averaging 71.5 points per contest while the Griffons are fourth dumping in 70.9 point per game. The Griffons Jessica Koch is second in the league in scoring averaging 17.6 points per game while Washburn’s Cassie Lombardino is fourth scoring 16.3 points per contest.

Griffons against Washburn in the Plett Era:
Missouri Western is 0-7 against the Lady Blues in the coach Plett era. The Griffons are 0-3 at home with the closest game coming on December 29, 2008 when the Griffons fell 63-55. Western fell last season 74-44 on January 30, 2010 and fell on January 2, 2008 65-52. Western is 0-3 in Topeka and 0-1 on a neutral floor against the Lady Blues.

Last victory for the Griffon in St. Joseph against WU:
The Griffons defeated the Lady Blues 49-47 on January 27, 2007 in the MWSU Fieldhouse but the contest had to be vacated due to NCAA violations. The Griffons last victory before that contest in the MWSU Fieldhouse against the Lady Blues came on January 30, 2002 by a score of 72-64. The Griffons were led by Lakesha Jones with 19 points while JoAnna Stuelke snared 11 rebounds. The Griffons had eight more rebounds then the Lady Blues and made 16 more free throws in the contest.

Griffon Success in the Fieldhouse:
So far this season the Griffons have had a ton of success in the fieldhouse. Western is 3-0 on the season and have outscored their opponents by an average of 19.33 points per game (74.3 to 55.0). Jessica Koch has scored 17.7 points per game while shooting 47.1-percent (16-34) from the field and 40.0-percent (8-20) from long range.  Rachel Luteyn has averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while Lauren Nolke is averaging 12.3 points per contest. Western has dished out 54 assists on its 81 field goals and forced 40 turnovers in three games. The Griffons have outrebounded its opponents 47 to 41.7 per game.

Scouting the Griffons:
The Griffons have averaged 70.9 points and given up 62.6 points per game. Western has shot 41.2-percent (183-444) from the field and 31.3-percent (52-166) from long range. The Griffons have made 78-of-105 free throw attempts and  have been out rebounded 41.6 to 41.3 per game. The Griffons have 105 assists on the season to go along with 104 turnovers and 54 steals. The Griffons are led by Jessica Koch averaging 17.7 points per game. Rachel Luteyn is averaging 11.7 points per contest. Lauren Nolke and Brenna Saline have chipped in 12.9 and 9.9 points per contest.  Saline leads the squad at 8.1 rebounds per game while Koch is collecting 6.9 per contest. Koch has 29 assist and 17 steals while Luteyn has blocked 18 shots.

Series vs. the Lady Blues:
Washburn and Western have met 76 times on the hardwood since their inaugural meeting during the 1975-76 season, a 74-70 Lady Blues victory.  Since then, the Lady Blues have held the upper edge on Western, as they hold a 42-34 record through the 35 years.  The Griffons are 16-17 in the MWSU Fieldhouse against the Lady Blues, although they haven’t won at home since 2002, a 70-62 victory on January 30.  The two teams have played to 7-7 tie on a neutral court, but in games  that have gone into overtime, Western is 2-1.  The Lady Blues have won the last ten meetings, which include the seven games they have played against the Griffons under the lead of Coach Plett.

About the Opponent:
The Lady Blues are once again one of the top teams in the nation as they come into the contest ranked 4th in the nation and undefeated at 8-0 overall and 4-0 in MIAA action. The Lady Blues have played just one game on the road which was its last contest in Kirksville, Mo. on December 11 defeating the Truman State Bulldogs 57-51. The Lady Blues other three MIAA victories came at home against Nebraska-Omaha, Northwest Missouri State and Fort Hays State. Washburn’s other four victories came against Southwestern (Kan.), Drury University and against California State Dominguez and Lake Superior State in the Grand Canyon University Thanksgiving Invitational. The Lady Blues are led by Cassie Lombardino scoring 16.3 points per game and snaring 6.3 rebounds. She is shooting 51.4-percent (55-107) from the field. Stevi Schultz is averaging 12.8 points per contest while Laura Kinderknecht is dumping in 10.9 points per contest. Schultz leads the Lady Blues in rebounding snaring 7.3 per game. Alyssa Mullen is second on the squad with 6.8 rebounds per contest while Kinderknecth leads the squad with 32 assists. As a team the Lady Blues are shooting 42.3-percent (200-473) from the field and 33.0-percent (63-191) from the field. They make 71.2-percent of their free throws and outrebounded their opponents 42.1 to 31.5. The Lady Blues have 137 assists to their opponents 77 and have 23 blocks on the season.

Second Half Dominance:
The Missouri  Western women are dominating their opponents in the second half outscoring them by a total of 54 points. Western outscored the Tigers of Fort Hays State 44-23 in the second half last Saturday. Rachel Luteyn, Jessica Koch and Lauren Nolke dumped in 11, 10 and 10 points respectively. The Griffons were outscored in the second half in two of its three losses. The Griffons outscored the Missouri Southern Lions 37-28 in the loss last Wednesday night in Joplin, Mo. Nolke dumped in 11 points in the second half. Against Emporia State, Western was outscored by 11 (46-35) but Koch dumped in 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. In their last victory the Griffons outscored the Gorillas 37-30 on the way to victory. Lauren Nolke dumped in 13 second half points on 5-of-8 shooting. 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 four players scoring nine or more points per game. On the boards the Griffons have four players snaring four or more rebounds per contest with Saline leading the charge with 8.1 per game. Western has four players with 15 or more assists and one player with 17 steals. Six Griffons are shooting 40.0-percent or better from the field while five different Griffons are shooting 70-percent or better from the free throw line. Three Griffons have 11 or more offensive rebounds.

Leading at the Half:
The Griffons have picked up three of its four victories when leading at the half. Western has led by 10 against Upper Iowa, nine against Rockhurst and 11 against Pittsburg State. Western was up one in its last contest against the Lady Hornets. The Griffons only victory when trailing at the half was on Saturday against Fort Hays State.

Get that out of here:
Western has had four blocked shots in four of its last five games. The Griffons have 25 on the season and have had at least one blocked shot in all seven games. Luteyn has 18 blocks on the season while five other Griffons have recorded one.

Dishin out Dimes:
The Griffons have been very giving this season recording 105 assists on its 183 field goals. Four different Griffons have 15 or more assists with Jessica Koch dishing out 29. Lauren Nolke, Kallie Schoonover and Brenna Saline have 19, 15 and 18 respectively  Nine different Griffons have at least two assists this season.

Stealing the Show:
Western has recorded 11 more steals than its opponents recording 7.7 per game. Jessica Koch has recorded 17 on the season while Lauren Nolke has eight steals. Five other Griffons have three or more.

Coming up Next:
Western will return to action after the Holiday Break on Thursday, December 30 for a non-conference contest against the Newman Jets. Game time is set for 7:00 pm from the MWSU Fieldhouse.

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