After opening the season with four straight home games the Missouri S&T women's basketball team hits the road for the first time this season over the weekend for some rugged competition.
The Lady Miners are to compete in the Drury Doubletree Houlihans Thanksgiving Classic today and Saturday.
The Lady Miners, 3-1, will play Union University tonight and then take on Missouri Western on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:45 p.m.
The Union Lady Bulldogs, from Jackson, Tenn., sports a 2-0 record so far, including a 74-65 victory over No. 3 Clayton State on Nov. 19. It was the first home loss in seven years for Clayton State, which finished 32-1 last season and didn't lose until the NCAA Division II National Tournament Quarterfinals.
The Union Lady Bulldogs are coming off a 22-9 season in 2012-13.
So far this season Union is shooting 53 percent from the field and outrebounding its opponents by six boards per game.
Amy Philamlee, a 5-5 junior guard, leads the Lady Bulldog charge, averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while 5-9 freshman guard Chelsea Bodiford averages 18.5 points and 5-11 junior guard Astrid Huttemann 16.5 points.
The Missouri Western Griffons are 4-0 heading into today's contest with Drury. The Griffons survived a scare last Saturday, holding off Rockhurst 63-59 in Kansas City.
Western is averaging 76.0 points per game while allowing just 47 points.
Ariana Novak, a 5-8 junior guard, leads a balanced Griffon attack with 10.3 points while 6-1 junior forward Tiara Hall averages 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds.
S&T and Missouri Western were formerly rivals in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) before the Lady Miners left that league to join the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
Saturday will be the 26th meeting all-time between the two schools, and first since S&T moved to the GLVC. The Griffons hold a 19-6 lead in the series and have won 14 straight.
S&T will be short-handed this weekend, as starting 5-11 senior forward Karli Sample (9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds) will miss the games due to family commitments.
Mia Wesley, a 5-9 junior guard, paces S&T in scoring with a 19.0 average along with 5.0 rebounds while 5-9 senior guard Toni Knar averages 12.5 points; 6-2 senior forward Kylie Cooper 9.8 points and 7.0 rebounds; 5-6 senior guard Senait McLeod 9.5 points with a team-high 14 assists, and 5-9 junior forward Jaaron Kassanavoid 7.0 points.
Knar is hitting 67 percent (10-of-15) from three-point range while Wesley is hitting 43 percent (9-of-21).