After losing eight straight games over the course of two months, the Lincoln men's and women's basketball teams are looking to get back on the right track.
Both Blue Tiger teams haven't posted a victory since Nov. 30 but will get that chance when they host Central Missouri in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association game today at Jason Gym. The women's contest will kick off at 5:30 p.m. while the men's game will follow.
Picking up their first victories in 53 days won't be an easy task for either Blue Tiger team.
The Lincoln women (3-12, 0-8) take on a Central Missouri squad that is ranked eighth in the USA Today Division II Coaches Poll. The Jennies' (14-2, 8-1) only losses came to second-ranked Emporia State and sixth-ranked Harding.
Putting up big numbers offensively has helped Central Missouri succeed as the Jennies have four players averaging double figures and are second in the MIAA in scoring at 79.1 points per game.
Keuna Flax is averaging a league-best 19.7 ppg, while BreAnna Lewis (13.6 ppg), Shelby Winkelmann (12.1 ppg) and Revonnia Howard (10.4 ppg) help pace the Jennies offensively.
That could pose a problem against the struggling Blue Tigers, who average 56.6 points per game.
Lincoln's 86-62 loss to Missouri Southern on Saturday was the Blue Tigers' eighth straight since posting a 66-62 victory against Harris Stow State on Nov. 30.
Lincoln hasn't been able to gel since then.
A mixture of injuries and breaking in nine new players has led the Blue Tiger coaching staff to try 10 different starting lineups since the season kicked off Nov. 9. Angela Randall, Hunter Yoakum, Kate Frazier, Jennifer Rosado and Quiessence Price are part of the only fivesome to start as many as three games together.
After recording five straight games in double figures, Rosado has emerged as the Blue Tigers' most consistent scorer at 12.6 ppg. Yoakum is averaging 11.1 ppg, while Jackeya Mitchell (8.7 ppg) and Randall (8.6 ppg) round out the top end of the Blue Tigers' scoring.
The Lincoln men (2-14, 0-8) will also be tested against the Mules (14-4, 6-3), who and are limiting opponents to 69.4 points per game - a mark that ranks second in the MIAA.
Mike Smith is averaging a team-high 16.4 points per game for Lincoln, while Joshua Buie is close behind with 14.4 ppg. Buie has scored at least 20 points on six occasions this season and has led the Blue Tigers in scoring in the past two games.
Clay Crouch (11.9 ppg) and Charles Cole (10.1 ppg) round out the top scorers for Lincoln, which is averaging 76.8 points per game.
The Blue Tigers' 80-68 loss to Missouri Southern on Saturday is also Lincoln's eighth straight since claiming a 101-98 victory in triple overtime against Talladega on Nov. 30.
Central Missouri is ranked fourth in the MIAA, but the Mules are 3-4 on the road and are coming off an 80-68 loss to Northwest Missouri State.
Dillon Deck (13.3 ppg) leads the attack for the Mules, while Daylen Robinson (12.5), and Charles Hammork (11.7) pace Central Missouri offensively.
The Mules also have seven players that average at least six points per game.