Dec. 4, 2014
Date: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Tip: 7:05 p.m. (Central)
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Site: JQH Arena (11,000)
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM
Live Stats: Game Overview
The Missouri State Lady Bears (0-6, 0-0 MVC) make their long-awaited home debut Saturday at 7 p.m. when they take on SIU Edwardsville (2-4) at JQH Arena.
MSU has waited until December for its home opener five times previously, but never as late as Dec. 6, as the previous late start resulted in a 75-48 victory over Grambling State on Dec. 5, 1988.
Missouri State will see a familiar face on the opposing bench Saturday in SIUE's Paula Buscher, who was MSU's starting point guard during the 1984 and 1985 seasons, and a first-team all-Gateway Conference shortstop for the softball Bears in 1986. Buscher served as the head coach at MVC-rival Bradley for 12 seasons prior to taking over at SIUE.
Missouri State is 5-0 all-time against SIUE, including a 3-0 mark in Springfield. The Lady Bears won both games of a home-and-home series in 2009 and 2010, while the other three games were played from 1981-83. MSU is 18-10 against SIUE head coach Paula Buscher, with those 28 games coming during the former Missouri State point guard's 12-year stint at Bradley.
SIU Edwardsville is 2-4 on the season with its victories coming at home against Drake and Air Force. The Cougars are picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, and senior guard Tierny Austin is a preseason all-OVC pick. Austin averages 10.5 points as one of three players scoring in double figures for SIUE, and the Cougars score 67.7 points per game while allowing 69.3. As a team, SIUE shoots 40.7 percent overall, 31.0 percent from 3-point land and 65.5 percent from the charity stripe.