This is more than just a game


Head coach Ronda Hubbard speaking to her team during a timout on Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center against Fort Hays State on Feb. 13, 2016. Southern currently sits in sixth place in the conference with one game remaining against the rival Pittsburg State. PSU defeated the Lions earlier this season in Pittsburg, Kan. Southern can get as high as a five seed which would give them a home game in the MIAA Conference Tournament.

The athletes on the Missouri Southern (17-10, 11-10 MIAA) women’s basketball team all have tomorrow’s game against No. 19 Pittsburg State circled on their calendar. 

PSU handed Southern a 23 point loss earlier this season on Jan. 16 at PSU. That was Southern’s biggest loss of the season and biggest loss since Jan. 26, 2013 against Northeastern State (24). Southern is 6-4 since, coming off a 76-73 overtime victory over Central Missouri last Saturday.

Sharese Jones, senior, scored a season-high 31 points against the Mules. Jones’ 31 points gave her 1,383 points for her career and puts her fourth all-time behind Linda Castillion (1979-83).

It was the first time since 2009 that the Lions win a game on the Jennies home floor, and for the first time since 2008 Southern swept the season series.

Southern currently sits in sixth place in the conference. With a win tomorrow, the Lions could grab the five seed as the top four seeds have already been set. A win would guarantee Southern a game on their home floor in round one of the MIAA tournament.

“Tomorrow’s game is huge and it has nothing to do with it being Pitt,” said Ronda Hubbard, head coach of women’s basketball. “We’re playing for a seeding and a first round home game on Monday. That’s at the forefront of our mind.”

“We need to win this game.”

PSU (23-4, 17-4 MIAA) comes into tomorrow’s matchup winners of 12 straight games and as the current three seed in the standings, having already locked up a first round bye. They’re still playing for position also as they could climb as high as the two seed.

“We just want to come out and show some fight,” Jones answered noting that they didn’t do that in their previous meeting with PSU. 

Southern will be seeking to avoid being swept by PSU tomorrow. PSU hasn’t swept the season series versus the Lions since the 11-12 season.

“The whole team played poorly (first matchup versus PSU),” said Hubbard. “Composure has to be the biggest difference in this game. Take out all of the distractions [senior day and rivalry], this game is critically important for the future of this season. It’s about winning a basketball game.”

Southern will be looking for their second home win versus a ranked opponent tomorrow. Their record versus ranked opponents on Robert Corn Court this season is 1-2. 

Tip-off from Robert Corn Court inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center for senior day is slated for 1 p.m.