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No. 18 Gorilla Women to Face No. 22 Central Missouri

December 15, 2011 12:00AM

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With eight days between games for finals and graduation, the Gorillas are sure to be ready for their MIAA matchup with Central Missouri on Sunday, December 18.
    The game will be one of the toughet yet for the undefeated PSU squad as Central Missouri started the season 7-0 before dropping a 80-66 decision to Emporia State. The Jennies will face Lincoln in Warrensburg before traveling to PIttsburg on Sunday.

Scouting Central Missouri
After opening with a 7-1 record the Jennies are ranked #22 in the Dec. 13 ESPN Coaches Poll.  UCM has opened MIAA play 2-1 with wins over Southwest Baptist (86-51) on Nov. 30 and Missouri Southern (66-50) on Dec. 3.  UCM fell in their Dec. 10 matchup at Emporia State 66-80. The Jennies will face Lincoln on Wednesday evening before coming to PIttsburg on Sunday.
    The team currently has three players averaging in double figures. Senior forward and 2010-11 Honorable Mention All-MIAA selection, Nicole Caddell, leads the way averaging 18.9 points and shooting .564 (53-94) from the field. Caddell also pulls down 8.5 rebounds per contest and has recorded three double-doubles thus far. Junior forward Shaquanda Wiggins leads the team in rebounds averaging 10.5 while also contributing 16.3 ppg. She has also recorded three double-doubles so far this season. Taylor Hanson, a senior guard, is averaging 14.6 ppg. Hanson is shooting .563 (36-64) from 3-point territory. Saraethea Brown is averaging 9.4 ppg. Alyssa Rhodes averages 5.4 assists per game to lead the Jennies.
    As a team, Central Missouri is shooting .470 (227-483) from the field, .443 (74-167) from three-point land, and .682 (103-151) from the charity stripe. The Jennies also average 78.9 points, 42.1 rebounds, and 15.6 assists per game.

Scouting Pittsburg State
The Pitt State women have started the season 10-0, tying the best start in school history and are now just one game away from tying the longest winning streak in school history. The team has been receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Division II Coaches Poll since the first week of the season and is now ranked in the top 25 for the first time since Feb. 27, 1995. The team was  21-5  at the time.
    The 2011-12 Gorillas average 81.4 points and 41.5 rebounds per game, almost 20 points and six rebounds more than their opponents. The team shoots .475 overall and .412 from three-point range. The team hits 70.2 percent of its free throws. The team averages 16.5 assists per game, but only 15.5 turnovers for a 1.06 assist/turnover ratio.
    Three Gorillas are averaging double figures for the season led by senior Larissa Richards with 14.0. Freshman Lizzy Jeronimus is just behind her with 13.8 ppg and Brooke Conley rings in with 12.8 ppg. Drew Roberts is just under double figures at 9.6 ppg. Richards is the team’s leading rebounder with 8.3 rpg. She also leads teh team and the MIAA in blocked shots with 28 thus far this season. Jeronimus leads the team in assists with 29, though Alexa Bordewick and Courtney Tate aren’t far behind her with 26 a piece. COnley leads the team in steals with 13 on the season.
    Drew Roberts leads the team with 17 threes on the season and is shooting .630 from beyond the arc. Conley isn’t far away with 16 made threes and Bordewick has made 15. Richards leads the team in overall shooting with a .625 percentage. Jeronimus and Morgan Westhoff are also regular players who hit over .500 on the season. Conley leads the team from the charity stripe with a 90.3 percent. She has hit 28-of-31 free throws on the season
    
PSU vs. Central Missouri
Central Missouri leads the series between the two teams, 25-18. Each team leads on its home court, with Pitt State holding an 13-7 advantage in Pittsburg and UCM leading 18-4 in Warrensburg. The Jennies won the one neutral site meeting.
    The teams split the series last season with each team winning on the road. Pitt State won the early meeting,74-64 in Warrensburg. The Jennies won the second game 66-60 in Pittsburg. In fact, the two teams have split the series every year from 2006-07
    The largest margin of victory by either team was a 25-point UCM win (78-53) on Jan. 3, 2000 in Pittsburg. The largest PSU win was 17 points, three different times, Jan. 12, 1998 (70-53), Jan. 13, 1999 (71- 54) and Jan. 23, 1999 (65-48).
    Pitt State has never won more than two games in a row over the Jennies. Central Missouri had a streak of five consecutive wins two times, from Jan. 3, 2000 to Feb. 28, 2001 and Dec. 30, 2004 to Dec. 9, 2006.

Last Time vs. Central Missouri
The Central Missouri Jennies ended a four-game Pitt State win streak as they defeated the Gorillas 66-60 in John Lance Arena on Saturday afternoon.
    Kylee Baldetti led the Gorillas with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Drew Roberts had 12 points and Laura Glenn added 11. Glenn also had six rebounds and four assists. Alexa Bordewick was just under double figures with nine points.
    The Jennies’ Nicole Caddell came off the bench to score a game-high 27 points and pull down 12 rebouds. Kara Flemming added 13 points for UCM.
    Central Missouri scored the first points of the game and dominated the first half. They shot ,484, while holding the Gorillas to .281. The Jennies built their 13-point halftime lead after a 8-0 run in the last five minutes of the half.
    The Gorillas come out of the lockerroom ready to play and went on a quick 11-2 run to cut the Central Missouri lead to four with just over 16 minutes to go. Though the Jennies built their lead back up to eight, Pitt State continued to battle and took  its first lead of the game on a Bordewick three with 9:33 to go. Back-to-back threes by Central Missouri gave them a five-point lead and Pitt State was never able to get it back. A three by Drew Roberts with 1:17 remaining brought the Gorillas within three, but they were not able to score again and  close the gap.

Up Next
Pitt State will have two weeks until its next game. The Gorillas return from Christmas break to face Missouri Southern on Dec. 30. That will be the final contest of 2011.

Streaks and Such
The Gorillas are off to a strong start on the season with 10 straight wins, matching the best start in school history. The 1994-95 squad also opened the season with a 10-0 record. The team did not lose a game until a 80-76 overtime loss to Missouri Southern on Jan. 4, 1995. None of the wins in that streak were conference wins.
    The best conference start in school history was a 7-0 start in the 1995-96 season. The Gorillas opened the MIAA portion of the season with wins over Missouri Southern, Truman, Southwest Baptist, Northwest Missouri, Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri-Rolla and Missouri Western. That team wen ton to be named Co-MIAA regular season champions.
    The longest win streak in school history was 11 games from Feb. 1 to March 5, 1992. Every win in the streakwas over conference foes. It started with a win over MIssouri-St. Louis in Pittsburg and included two games in the MIAA Tournament. The streak ended with a loss to Washburn in the championship game of the tournament. That team was the MIAA regular season champion, the tournament runner up and earned a berth into the NCAA-II Tournament.

Gorillas in the Polls
The Gorillas made their first appearance in the Top 25 this season, ringing in at No. 18. This is the first time the Gorillas have been in the top 25 since being ranked No. 20 on Feb. 27, 1995. The Gorillas are the highest ranked team in the MIAA.
    Pitt State has been creeping up in the poll all season. Last week the team was the top team in the receiving votes category, ranking them 26th in the nation. Pitt State did not have any votes in the preseason poll, they added 10 votes in the first regular season poll. Two weeks ago the Gorillas were the No. 30 team in the country with 51 votes.
    The Gorillas currently have four 2011-12 opponents in the top 25, No. 14 Northeastern State, No. 21 Washburn, No. 22 Central Missouri and No. 23 Emporia State.  Fort Hays State, Central Oklahoma, Northwest Missouri and Truman are all receiving votes.



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