The Missouri State Lady Bears (2-6, 0-0 MVC) host a pair of in-state rivals this week, beginning Thursday at 7:05 p.m. when Missouri (10-1) comes to Springfield for the first time in nearly a decade.
Missouri brings one of the nation’s top shooting teams to JQH Arena as the Tigers rank among the top 25 in four offensive categories.
Thursday’s game will be MSU’s last in a stretch of eight consecutive contests against teams that played in the postseason a year ago.
MSU wraps up its homestand Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. against SEMO (4-8), which represents the Lady Bears’ first opponent of the season that did not win at least half of its games in 2012-13.
Missouri State concludes non-conference play Dec. 29 at North Texas and begins the Missouri Valley Conference season Jan. 5 at home against Wichita State.
Missouri State trails 17-8 in the all-time series, though only five games have been played since 1990. The Lady Bears won the last meeting in Springfield, 66-44 on Dec. 8, 2004. Missouri won in Columbia last season, 91-77.
Missouri State is 11-2 all-time against Southeast Missouri State with a 7-0 record in Springfield. The schools took a 20-year break in the series from 1982-2002, and MSU is 5-1 since the renewal on Nov. 26, 2002. Missouri State won 69-55 last December in Cape Girardeau.
Missouri is 10-1 on the season with its lone loss coming at Miami (Fla.). The Tigers already own victories over Evansville and Bradley of the MVC.
Bri Kulas is MU’s leading scoring at 18.2 points per game, while Morgan Eye averages 11.0 points and has buried 35 3-pointers.
The Tigers average 78.0 points and allow 59.8 while shooting 43.4 percent overall, 38.8 percent from beyond the arc and 78.9 percent from the charity stripe.
Before Monday’s game, Missouri ranked third nationally in 3-pointers per game and free throw percentage, 23rd in scoring margin and 24th in 3-point percentage.
Southeast Missouri State is 4-8 overall with wins against Alabama A&M, UMKC, Southern Illinois and Illinois-Springfield.
The Redhawks have five players averaging at least 7.0 points per game, led by Kara Wright at 11.1 per contest. Patricia Mack grabs 8.6 rebounds per game as SEMO holds a plus-2.0 margin.
As a team, SEMO averages 60.5 points and allows 68.9 while shooting 36.1 percent overall, 30 percent on 3-pointers and 65 percent from the foul line.