Jacks hope to avoid being Tiger’s prey

Zach Perry

Zach Perry

The Jackrabbit women’s basketball team will take to the road to open the season against the Missouri Tigers on Nov. 14 in Columbia, Mo.

The game will be the first of seven non-conference games for the Jacks to open the 2008-09 season. It will also be a rematch of last year’s contest between the two teams, which ended in a 78-63 Jackrabbit victory in Frost Arena. Two years ago, the Tigers beat SDSU 62-79 at the Mizzou Arena.

SDSU has looked impressive in their exhibition games this season. The first preseason game ended in an SDSU win over Minnesota-Crookston, 105-67. The Jacks later defeated Southwest Minnesota State by a score of 91-49 in the final exhibition match on Nov. 9.

Starters Maria Boever, Jennifer Warkenthien and Ketty Cornemann have been consistent scorers in both exhibition games, but the effectiveness of SDSU’s strategy will be contingent upon production from the bench.

Reserve players Kristin Rotert – who led the Jacks in scoring with 17 points in last year’s meeting – Vanessa Johnson, Jill Young and Alison Anderson will be called on to play valuable minutes and keep the offensive pressure on opposing defenses.

If SDSU continues their hot shooting, the Jacks will be tough to beat. Against SMSU, the Jackrabbits shot over 58 percent from the field, including just over 52 percent from the 3-point range.

Missouri won its only exhibition match-up this season against Southwest Baptist by a score of 80-50.

The Jackrabbits will see some familiar faces from last year’s meeting, as all five Tiger starters return from the 2007-08 team. Last season, Missouri went 10-21 and was one of the youngest teams in the nation. Mizzou hopes that the game experience gained by the underclassmen last season will translate into more Tiger wins this season.

Alyssa Hollins is Missouri’s lone senior member and has proven to be a force on the court for UM. Hollins scored 21 points against Southwest Baptist and 18 points last year against the Jacks. Hollins is an accurate long-distance shooter and holds the Missouri single-season record with 90 3-pointers.

SDSU will also have to contend with Missouri forwards Jessra Johnson and Shakara Jones, who were one and two respectively in rebounds from last year’s squad.

The Tigers are led at point by redshirt freshman Bekah Mills – who missed all of last season with a knee injury – and Toy Richbow, a speedy guard who started 28 games last year and led the team in assists.

SDSU was 23-7 last season and was 1-4 in non-conference road games.

The Tigers were 7-9 at home last year. Missouri is picked by ESPN to finish last in the Big 12 conference this season.