Jan. 30, 2013
Stevens and Bearcats ready for tall task vs. NSU
Tipoff: Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Stadium: Bearcat Arena
Radio: Bearcat Radio Network
Matt Gaarder (play-by-play);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.
(WBCA/USA Today Top 25)
Northeastern State: RV
Series: Northeastern State has won all four meetings between the two schools (4-0).
Northwest: Mark Kellogg (Austin College '98) 175-46 (8th season overall) (1st season at Northwest)
Northeastern State: Randy Gipson (Kentucky '79) 259-121 (14th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Regardless of the situation the Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball team is in, junior point guard Monique Stevens will always believe the Bearcats will pull out a victory.
“Even against teams that are really successful, we can get a win and catch those teams off guard,” Stevens said. “We have the potential to do that.”
Northwest will need that kind of spirit when it takes on Northeastern State at 5:30 Thursday evening at Bearcat Arena. Northwest is coming off two tough road losses and is 10-7 overall and 4-5 in the MIAA.
The RiverHawks are having a solid season in their first year in the MIAA. They are 13-5 and 8-2.
Stevens, though, could look at the records of the two teams and still not think the odds of winning are against the Bearcats.
Stevens beat the odds just to play college basketball in the United States. She grew up in Wodonga, Victoria Australia. Her goal was to play basketball here. One thing potentially stood in her way.
“I thought coaches wouldn’t take a chance on me because I’m only 5-foot-3,” she said.
Her opportunity came when coaches from Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Neb., came to Australia to watch her friend play a game.
“I played against her,” Stevens said. “They watched us play and they ended up approaching me as well.”
So Stevens left Australia three years ago and left her summers behind.
Although this fact is not necessary to state for Northwest students, Australia seasons are opposite of those in the northern hemisphere.
“It is really tough to have winter all the time,” Stevens said. “When I go home, it is winter again. I have not had a true summer. But the winters here are a lot colder than they are back home.”
Stevens is 1 ½ hours from the beach when she is home. It definitely wasn’t beach weather Wednesday in Maryville. While many Midwesterners enjoy a good snowstorm, Stevens wasn’t too happy Tuesday night about the weather forecast.
“I’m not at all excited about it,” she said. “I’m still struggling with the wind chill and how cold it gets.”
That is as close as Stevens will get to saying anything negative about her college experience.
She is in her first season at Northwest and has blended in quickly with her new teammates. She is leading the team in assists and is averaging 6.7 points per game.
“We have such great team chemistry,” Stevens said. “We get along off the court. We hang out together. My teammates make you feel like you really want to be part of the team.
“It is a great experience. I had one guy comment on how beautiful smile I have. He didn’t realize I had such a beautiful smile because I wear a mask on the court all the time.
“It is little things like people recognize you and say, ‘hey, good game. You played hard.’ It is a really good feeling knowing people come and watch and they notice you.”
At least twice a week, Stevens is asked where she is from because of her accent. She doesn’t mind talking about Australia. It is all part of the college experience, which is a time to grow, learn about others from different backgrounds.
For Stevens, the experience has caught her by surprise and she already had the spirit for adventure before she left Australia.
“I’m learning so many skills being away from my parents,” she said. “I have become more independent. I grow every day as a person. Everybody takes me under their wings.
“I’m learning on the basketball court, in the classroom and life skills.”
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468