Friday, December 10, 2010

SBU women look to bounce back against Pittsburg State

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The SBU Bearcats will look to bounce back from two close losses in their last three games when they travel to Pittsburg State to take on the Gorillas. 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.

Lane Lord enters his third season as head women’s basketball coach at Pittsburg State University. After a 10-17 record in his first year, the Gorillas recorded the best turnaround in school history, with a 20-9 record and a third-place finish in the MIAA regular season.

The Bearcats and Gorillas have met 48 times in their history, and the series couldn’t be any closer, with both teams taking 24 wins in their matchups. Pittsburg State has taken three of the last four meetings, as SBU won on the road against Pitt last season.

Sophomore Kourtni Williams came off the bench with a team-high 15 points, one shy of her career high, but the SBU Bearcats came just short in their comeback attempt, falling to the Truman Bulldogs, 68-65.

Truman built up a lead midway through the first half, during a 20-4 run that gave the Bulldogs a 35-20 halftime edge. The Bulldogs were red-hot during the opening act, shooting 75% from the field (15-for-20), while the Bearcats struggled to get their shots to fall, going for just 20% (6-for-30).

A layup from Ashleigh Gallio gave the ‘Cats a 60-59 edge with just under five minutes to play. Whitney Malone gave the Bearcats a four point lead, hitting the and-one with 1:40 to play. Truman then closed out the game on a 5-0 run, all scored by Breanna Daniels, who finished with 11 points.

• Freshman Jacqui Zelenka leads the Bearcats with 8.9 points per game, and her 20-point performance against Central Methodist is the most points scored by a Bearcat this season.

• Senior forward Whitney Malone is one of the early front-runners for the MIAA All-Defense team, ranking seventh in the conference in rebounds (7.7/pg) and second in steals (3.0/pg).

• Although the Bearcats have one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the MIAA (62.7 ppg, 9th in the league), They have held opponents to just 57.1 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 5.9 treys each game (7th in MIAA).

• After leading the conference last year, senior guard Ashleigh Gallio saw continues to play a high number of minutes, leading the MIAA with averaging 35.7 this season. Gallio leads the team in assists, (2.7/pg) as well.

• 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 33.3% from beyond the arc.

Pittsburg State will be looking to end a three-game slide heading into the game against the Bearcats. The Gorillas started the season 2-1 with wins against Panhandle State and Newman, but have lost their momentum going into conference play.

Drew Roberts is Pittsburg’s main scoring threat, averaging 13.1 points per game (15th in MIAA). Roberts has posted a league-best 45% shooting percentage from three, and hits 2.6 treys per game. Kylee Baldetti brings down a team-high 6.7 rebounds a game, ranking her eleventh among conference leaders.

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