Lady Blues reach milestone with 37 wins

Nathan Miller

Winter break was a relaxing time for many college students around the country, but for the Lady Blues’ opponents it was a month of frustration and loss, as the Lady Blues extended their record to 18-0, 7-0 in conference play and a 37-game winning streak dating back to last year’s national championship season.

“Motivation is the key. Coach McHenry says we have to carry ourselves with a little swagger. We have to show them who we are on the court. We all come from winning programs. We know what it takes to win,” said April Roadhouse, senior point guard.

Roadhouse and the rest of the Lady Blues can breathe a deep sigh of relief after successfully sweeping competition in a week that threatened to end their perfect season. Roadhouse had a season high 11 points in last Wednesday’s 74-54 victory over the Pittsburgh State Gorillas, and then decided why not do more, and put up 13 points in Saturday’s 70-45 win over the Missouri Southern Lions.

Roadhouse was forced to step up as the Gorillas defense shut down teammates Jennifer Harris and Brooke Ubelaker early.

“The rhythm was off tonight. Offensively we were trying to score quickly, and we missed a couple layups early. They really came out and ground their offense out. They really ran the shot clock down quite a bit in the first half. That was their intentions all along, slow the game down and they ran a match up zone that guarded Jennifer and Brooke. We didn’t react to it like I wanted them to. But teams are going to do that to us. Rhythm of the game was off, no doubt,” said Ron McHenry, head coach.

Rhythm being off was something the Lady Blues could not afford to have with Missouri Southern approaching just three days later. The Lions were the last loss the Lady Blues suffered over 37 games back, and the setting was the same, on the road at the Lions’ den.

Before the game, McHenry said he expected that Missouri Southern would have their stuff ready to go, and expected quite the battle.

“Southern is a very good basketball team, especially at their place,” said McHenry.

Last year, the Lions came out with a defense that the Lady Blues weren’t ready for and held on for a 50-53 victory.

Roadhouse said they concentrated on staying tough and keeping their minds straight for 40 minutes.

The Lions kept it close in the first half in Saturday’s battle as the Lady Blues led just 37-32 at halftime. But the second half turned into a disaster for the Lions, when the Lady Blues finally turned on that MIAA- leading scoring defense, not allowing a bucket for a span of 17:43 in the second half.

“That is what we strive for, defense really wins games and of course offense doesn’t hurt either,” said Roadhouse.

It certainly doesn’t, especially when you’re the Lady Blues shooting 48 percent from the field in the second half and your opponent, the Lions are just hitting .087 percent.

The Lady Blues travel to St. Joseph, Miss. to take on the No. 3 in the MIAA, Missouri Western Griffons on Wednesday.