Pittsburg State: While Emporia State figures to trump all others on a neutral court, Pittsburg State is the hottest team heading into the tournament with a 12-game winning streak. The last time the Gorillas lost was a 70-60 setback at Washburn on Jan. 18. Prior to that, Pittsburg State nearly upended Emporia State in a two-point loss at Emporia. Pittsburg State is on a roll and figures to give Emporia State a run for its money.
Players to watch
• Keuna Flax (Central Missouri): The league’s Player of the Year is averaging 20.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Flax is also second in the league in field goal percentage (56.4 percent).
• Late Lehman (Fort Hays State): What Lehman lacks on offense — and it isn’t much at 16.6 points per game — she makes up for on the defensive and rebounding departments. Lehman, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year has 145 blocks and is averaging 11.4 rebounds per game.
• Lizzy Jeronimus (Pittsburg State): As the Gorillas’ go-to scorer, Jeronimus is posting 18.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
• Heading into the conference tournament, five MIAA teams are in the top 10 of the Central Region rankings. Emporia State is second and Central Missouri trails right behind at third. Pittsburg State (fifth), Fort Hays State (ninth) and Missouri Southern (10th) are also in the top 10. The top eight teams will make the NCAA tournament.