After a close 61-56 home victory over the Missouri Southern Lions, the Griffons will have the opportunity to win their first away game of the season in Jefferson City, Missouri, as they face the Lincoln University Blue Tigers.
Western has been successful at home this season, compiling seven wins and just three losses, but a victory on the road has eluded them after their first five away games.
Head coach Rob Edmisson knows that his team is no stranger to tough competition this season.
“Through 16 games our program has the No. 1 ranked strength of schedule in the country,” Edmisson said. “It says a lot about the type of teams we have to play night in and night out.”
Both teams have ground to make up in the conference with the Griffons sitting at No. 10 with a 3-7 MIAA record and an 8-8 overall record, while the Blue Tigers are No. 13 in the MIAA with a 2-8 conference record and are 7-9 overall.
The schedule is rough, but Griffon guard Chelsea Dewey realizes there is still work to be done.
“The win [over Southern] carried a lot of momentum but we cannot be satisfied,” Dewey said. “We have to keep building and get stops on defense.”
The Blue Tigers will be in the middle of a three game home stand when they play the Griffons and they have been enjoying their own home success as well with a 4-3 home record.
To attain their road win, Western will attempt to minimize turnovers while relying on guard LaQuinta Jefferson, who averages 21.2 points per game, to lead their offense.
On defense, the Griffons will look towards forward Mhykeah Baez and guard Miliakere Koyamainavure who are tied for first on the team in rebounds with 85.
Lincoln University will utilize the offensive talent of Hunter Yoakum who leads their team in points with 188 and three-point percentage with 40 percent. Defensively Lizzie Nessling will attempt to control the glass as she leads the team with 99 rebounds.
Although a win over the Blue Tigers would give the Griffons their first road win of the season, forward Tiara Hall explains that every game is important at this point in the season.
“Right now every game we have left is really important to get where we are trying to go in the season,” Hall said. “We are not trying to just finish with the games that are set on the schedule, we are trying to go past that so every game is going to be important.”
The Griffons continue their end-of-season push towards the MIAA tournament against the Lincoln University Blue Tigers in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.