The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 8, 2013

Lions hope to continue hot shooting

By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor

— In snapping a six-game losing streak, Missouri Southern’s women’s basketball team put on a shooting display that hadn’t been seen in years.

The Lions shot 62.2 percent (28-of-45) in Thursday night’s 69-63 victory over Southwest Baptist. It was the Lions’ best performance since they hit 67.6 percent (23-of-34) in a 61-45 victory at John Brown University on Dec. 4, 2003.

And, the Lions had not shot that well in an MIAA game since they hit 63 percent (29-of-46) in an 88-77 home victory over Missouri-Rolla on Jan. 8, 2001.

The Lions (11-9, 5-7 MIAA) started quickly by making 12 of 17 shots in the first 10 minutes, and their defense ignited a 7-0 spurt that produced a 27-20 lead the Lions never relinquished.

“They were so excited at halftime that I was a little concerned,” coach Maryann Mitts said. “They were excited that they had a cushion, but they have worked hard. They’ve been trying to work their way out of this, and I’m happy for them that they are able to smile and feel great about themselves.”

Freshman Sharese Jones made all five field-goal attempts — two of them 3s — and was 4-of-6 at the line for 16 points. She ranks among the top free-throw shooters in the league at 85 percent (45-of-53).

“Just trying to be aggressive, trying to get my teammates open and making sure I contribute in any way possible,” Jones said.

Point guard Tee Singleton collected 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Other contributions included seven points from Jolee Sharp, five points and six assists in 18 minutes from Samantha Soyez, eight points, five rebounds and two blocks from Shonte Clay, nine points, four rebounds and four assists from Erin Rice and nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks from Dominique Mosley.

“A lot of people played well,” Mitts said. “When we’ve won, it’s always been about a team win.”

The smiles returned to the Lions’ locker room, but the celebration didn’t last long as they turned their attention toward tonight’s home game against No. 10 Central Missouri (18-2, 10-2).

The Jennies have won five straight since a 73-64 loss at Truman State. Their other loss came in the league opener at Fort Hays State 95-50.

Keuna Flax (30 points) and Quinnecia Twine (24) set season highs in Thursday night’s 87-75 victory at Central Oklahoma. The Jennies shot 67 percent (20-of-30) while building a 51-30 halftime lead, and they shot 50 percent (30-of-60) for the game.

Flax, 5-foot-11 junior forward, averages 21.2 points after becoming eligible after the first semester. BreAnna Lewis, 5-7 junior guard, averages 15.3 points. They were teammates last year on Trinity Valley’s national championship team.

Nicole Caddell, 5-11 senior, is a veteran at the post and averages 13.7 points and 10.4 rebounds.

“They are a very talented ball club,” Mitts said. “They are extremely athletic. They are great at all five positions.”