Lady Bears Set for First Conference Road Swing

Missouri State at UNI and Drake
Dates and Times Jan. 13, 6 p.m. at UNI (8-5, 1-1 MVC) 
Jan. 15, 2 p.m. at Drake (9-6, 1-3 MVC)
Locations Cedar Falls, Iowa | Des Moines, Iowa
Sites McLeod Center (6,500) | Knapp Center (7,152)
Radio KWTO 101.3 FM
Listen Live RadioSpringfield.com
Live Video UNI (ESPN+)Drake (ESPN+)
Live Stats UNI | Drake
Missouri State Notes for UNI Game | Notes for Drake Game (By 5 p.m. Friday) | WBB Home Page
UNI Women’s Basketball Home Page
Drake Women’s Basketball Home Page

Starting Five – Storylines 
1) Missouri State has continued its tradition of strong defensive play. The Lady Bears currently own the sixth-best 3-point defense in the nation with a .234 percentage, while also ranking in the top 20 in scoring defense (6th – 49.9), blocks/game (15th – 5.8) and field goal percentage defense (7th – .336). MSU’s defensive average is on pace to rank second in school history.

2) Missouri State is currently on a 21-game win streak in the Missouri Valley Conference, which is the second-longest conference win streak in program history. The program record is 24 consecutive conference victories, which was set from Jan. 9, 1999 to Feb. 3, 2000.

3) The Lady Bears are 35-5 in their last 40 true road games, 46-9 in the last 55 games away from home, and 25-2 in the last 27 MVC road contests. MSU is also 49-9 in its last 58 MVC road games, which dates back to Feb. 20, 2015, as the Lady Bears have won at least six MVC road games for seven straight seasons.

4) With the Lady Bear victory against Valparaiso, Missouri State head coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton became just the fourth head coach in Division I history to reach 60 victories in less than 70 games to begin their careers at the Division I level (Leon Barmore – Louisiana Tech, 64 games), (Pokey Chatman – LSU, 65 games), (Kurt Budke – Louisiana Tech, 65 games) and (Amaka Agugua-Hamilton – Missouri State, 69 games).

5) Missouri State is 84-12 overall since Dec. 20, 2018, ranking seventh nationally in total wins since that date and fourth in win percentage (.875), trailing only Baylor, UConn and FGCU. Five teams ahead of the Lady Bears on the wins list have been ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll over that span.

The Opponents
Northern Iowa is currently 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Panthers own a 3-1 record at home and sit sixth in the conference standings. UNI is led by preseason all-MVC selection Karli Rucker, who averages a team-high 13.1 ppg and 50 assists. Freshman Grace Boffeli leads the Panthers with 8.3 rpg and 108 total rebounds. Northern Iowa is shooting .422 from the field and .339 from behind the arc, while grabbing 37.2 rebounds per game as a team.
    Drake sits at 9-6 on the year and is 1-3 in MVC play. The Bulldogs are coming off of losses at Loyola and Valparaiso, as they are currently eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference standings. Drake has three players averaging 10+ ppg, including Maggie Bair who leads the Bulldogs with 12.2 ppg and a .571 field goal percentage. Preseason all-MVC selection Grace Berg is averaging 11.7 ppg and 4.0 rpg. As a team, Drake is averaging 77.9 ppg while shooting .478 from the field. The Bulldogs are averaging 41.4 rpg and own a plus-9.3 rebounding margin.

Series Histories
Missouri State leads the all-time series against Northern Iowa, 58-28. The Lady Bears are 23-18 against the Panthers in Cedar Fallas, and MSU has won the last seven meetings versus UNI. Missouri State swept the two-game series on the road last season by scores of 70-51 and 64-60.
    The Lady Bears lead the series overall against Drake, 47-44; however, the Bulldogs lead the series in Des Moines, 25-14. Missouri State has won the last five meetings between the two teams, including a two-game sweep of Drake last season by scores of 73-72 and 78-63 at JQH Arena.

This article is provided by Missouri State