Some long overdue recognition is coming soon to women athletes who blazed the trail for others at one of the state’s universities. The University of Central Missouri, the new name for Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, plans special recognition during Homecoming in October for those women who competed before the university awarded women letters. Associate Athletic Director, Kathy Anderson, says it will be a chance for the women to return to campus and swap stories about feats that she’s sure have grown over the years just as they do when men get together and talk about the glory days. Some of those stories, though, will be about more that the games. The university didn’t even officially recognize some women’s sports. Schedules often weren’t published. Statistics rarely were kept. Women wanting to play some sports in the 1960s and 1970s had to arrange their own transportation to get to games. Anderson says those women paved the way for her standout basketball, softball and track career. Anderson graduated in 1980, eight years after Title IX, which mandated women’s sports be put on an equal footing with men’s sports.
Former Southwest Missouri State women’s basketball coach Cheryl Burnett was officially named women’s basketball coach at Michigan today. She was introduced at a press conference on Monday. Burnett spent 15 seasons as coach of the SMS Lady Bears. She won 319 games, nine regular season conference titles and six league tournament titles. She also recorded 10 20-win seasons and led SMS to two appearances in the Final Four. Burnett will have her work cut out for her next year. Michigan went just 13-16 last year. The Wolverines 3-13 conference mark placed them last in the Big Ten.
The WNIT was an unpleasant experience for the Missouri Tigers and the Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears last night as both teams lost their first-round games. The Tigers dropped a 68-67 decision to Alabama at home while SMS was tripped up in overtime by Eastern Kentucky 72-65. Missouri ends the season with a 14-15 record while SMS completes their campaign with a 16-13 mark.
The WNIT begins tonight for the Missouri Tigers and the Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears. Mizzou will host Alabama this evening while SMS welcomes Eastern Kentucky to the Hammons Center. Should both teams win, they would face each other in Round #2.
Two local teams are headed to the WNIT. Both the Missouri Tigers and the Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears will play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after losing in the first round of their respective conference tourneys. Missouri will match-up with Alabama in the first-round while the Lady Bears will host Eastern Kentucky. Should both schools win their opening games, they would play each other in the second round.
The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament opens today in Springfield, Missouri. The Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears will open play against Wichita State in the first round. That match-up will be the fourth of four first-round games at the Hammons Student Center today.
The season came to an end for the Missouri women’s basketball team last night as they were hammered by #17 Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament 78-51. The Tigers were disposed of methodically in this one, Tech led by 15 at the half and they expanded that lead throughout the second half. Mizzou could not figure out the Red Raider defense, as the Tigers shot just 29 percent from the field and they turned the ball over 17 times. Natalie Bright led Missouri with 11 points, Evan Unrau added nine points and eleven rebounds. The Tigers finish the season with a 14-14 record.
It was a rough night for the Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears as they were trampled on the road by Bradley 65-45. SMS committed 31 turnovers in the loss including 12 by point guard Erica Vicente. Bradley on the other hand finsihed with just 13 turnovers as a team. The loss snaps a six-game overall winning streak for SMS and a five-game road winning streak. The Lady Bears are now 16-10 on the season.
The Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears will go for their seventh sraight win tonight when they visit Bradley. The Lady Bears are now 16-9 on the season and 12-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. They also already have a win over Bradley to their credit. SMS beat them 82-77 in double overtime in Springfield back in late December in their MVC opener.
The Missouri women’s basketball team wrapped up its regular season in dissapointing fashion last night by getting hammered in Manhattan by #14 Kansas State 74-55. The Wildcats used a balanced attack to dismiss Mizzou. Four players finished in double figures, led by Laurie Koehn with 27. On the other side, Missouri had just one player crack double figures – that was Wannette Smith with ten. The Tigers end the regular season with a 14-13 record, K-State is 23-6.