The 31st season of womenâ??s basketball conference play in the MIAA will tipoff on Wednesday night as the Truman Bulldogs will travel to Missouri Western State University for a rematch of the Bulldogs 67-65 victory two weeks ago.
Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. from the Missouri Western Fieldhouse.
In a game that featured 13 lead changes and 12 ties, it was the Truman who remained perfect on the season after handing Missouri Western their first loss of the year 67-65 during the Lincoln (Mo.) University Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 23.
Nicole Gloor and Amy Briggs had 17 and 16 points respectfully as Truman took their final lead with just over four minutes left to play on consecutive baskets by the duo.
A pair of free throws by Lanicia Lawrence, who had a game high 20 points, closed the Western gap to just a point with 1:25 left by the junior transfer Briggs connected on her third three-pointer of the game with 55 seconds left to give Truman a 67-63 lead.
The Bulldogs have been off since their 67-49 non-conference win over Rockhurst (Mo.) last Wednesday night while the Griffons defeated the Hawks 67-63 in their conference tune-up on Sunday.
Becka McHenry leads Truman at 13.2 points per game and is ranked in fifth MIAA statistical categories.
Gloor (11.6) and Allie Norton (10.0) are the other two Bulldogs averaging in double-figures on a team that is scoring at a 75.6 per game clip.
Westernâ??s only blemish is the loss to Truman with wins over Division I, UMKC (68-51) and then #7 Metro State (Colo.) 66-55.
They won four more games against Great Lakes Valley Conference members including common opponents with Truman, Quincy 81-67 and Rockhurst.
Heather Howard is averaging a double-double with 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds.
In the first meeting with Truman, Western hit just one of six three-point attempts but in the three games since have averaged 7.6 made threes a game and shot 43% from beyond the arc (23-of-53).
Truman has won their last two conference openers and are 12-18 in league â??lid-liftersâ?? since the start of MIAA play in 1982-83.
This is the first conference opener against Missouri Western since the 1992-93 season (L 85-48).
Eight of the last nine conference openers, including the last six have been against Missouri Southern (3-3).
Michael Smith is 4-5 against Missouri Western all-time and 2-2 in conference opening games.
In the last two years of conference play, the Bulldogs are 21-21 while the previous four years (2006-2010) they were 21-54.
Courtesy Truman State University