Lions grab momentum with wins over #2 Fort Hays State, #14 Nebraska-Kearney

MSSU is now 9-3 in the MIAA, one game back of 1st place.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern Lions are starting to find their groove.

“We’ve got kids who are really starting to believe in each other and in themselves,” says head coach Ronnie Ressel, “It’s fun to watch.”

The Lions have won five straight games – including wins over #2 Fort Hays State and #14 Nebraska-Kearney in the last week.

“We’ve been saying this whole week, why not us? Why don’t we go beat someone who is ranked above us?,” says junior Amaya Johns, “It’s really exciting and all of us were really bought into it, even the trainers and everyone.”

“We talked before we went on the Hays and Kearney trip about earning some respect in our league,” Ressel says, ‘We got off to a good start, but we hadn’t beat anybody who was above us yet. Getting those two wins gave us a lot of confidence and gave us a bit of respect in the league, I believe.”

Building chemistry and trust has paid off for a young Missouri Southern team that is now 9-3 in MIAA play, just one game back of 1st place in the conference.

“Different players have been stepping up each game,” Johns says, “I feel like we all have big trust in Lacy (Stokes). She’s our point guard and we trust her to get to the basket and do what we need to do. We trust Madi (Stokes) getting to the basket as well. I feel like they have confidence and trust in me, too. Even when my shots aren’t falling they tell me to keep shooting and keep attacking. I think we all trust each other and we all love each other.”

“Lacy can make plays. Madi in the post can make plays. Amaya can make plays. Lane can make shots, Brooke can make shots and Kaitlin can make shots,” Ressel continues, “We have different kids who can make plays late in ball games.”

While they’ve taken care of business in the last few weeks – the Lions know it won’t matter unless they finish strong in the final 10 games of their schedule.

“It’s going to be extremely important this week that we do what we need to do and we continue to improve on both ends of the floor,” Ressel adds, “We need to make sure we’re taking our next step in the direction we want to go.”

“We just have to keep going and continue doing what we’re doing,” Johns finishes, “We can’t get complacent because we’ve been winning. We have to keep going hard in practice and staying together and keep playing together.”

The Lions are back in action on Wednesday night, hosting Rogers State. The women’s game begins at 5:30 PM, with the men’s game to follow at 7:30 PM.