Lions battle for home victory

John Davidson, staff writer

Teams go through rough stretches. It happens at the highest level in the NBA all the way down to high school. Currently, the Missouri Southern women’s basketball team is in a slide that has seen the Lions drop three of their last four games including their first home game of the season.

The last two losses have been by single digits to Central Missouri, a top-15 team in the nation. The Lions were never out of either game and kept them close until the end. The most recent loss saw the Lions fall 75-67.

“The Central Missouri game[s] boiled down to playing better defense and rebounding. When you are in close ball games, it comes down to making plays in the last five minutes and UCM made the plays,” said Head Coach Ronda Hubbard. “Specifically, after we tied the game with 7:40 to go, we turned the ball over five times and went 0-7 from the field. In the MIAA, you are not going to win a game doing that.”

On Wednesday night, the Lions broke a three game losing streak against Northwest Missouri. The win came in overtime after sophomore guard Sharese Jones hit a free throw with 20 seconds in regulation to force overtime. Down 60-59 with less than a minute left, the Lions rallied to score the final five points of the game.

Looking forward, the Lions travel to Missouri Western for a rematch on Saturday. In their previous match-up, Southern defeated Missouri Western 65-50 in the annual pink game.

With just five games remaining, Southern is locked in a mini-season with tournament implications.

“We really believe that the team that plays the best for the remainder of the season will finish a top the MIAA and click an early ticket to Kansas City,” said Hubbard.