MSSU freshman Lacy Stokes named MIAA Player of the Year; Ressel earns Coach of the Year

Stokes is the MIAA Freshman and Player of the Year.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern freshman Lacy Stokes has been named both the MIAA Freshman (unanimous) and Player of the Year the league announced on Tuesday.

Stokes has made a huge impact in her first season in the Missouri Southern program. She’s the team’s leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points per game. That’s the 3rd-most in the MIAA. Stokes leads the MIAA in assists (5.7 apg), assist/turnover ratio (3.6) and steals (3.2 spg). She’s also 2nd on the team in rebounding, with 5.6 rebounds per game.

Stokes has been the MIAA women’s basketball Player of the Week five times this winter.

The freshman from Mt. Vernon finished the regular season with 6 consecutive 20+ point games, helping the Lions end the regular season on a 15-game winning streak and earn their first ever MIAA regular season title.

The Lions are the #1 seed in the MIAA tournament in Kansas City this week, and will face the winner of Pitt State/Washburn in the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Missouri Southern Head Coach Ronnie Ressel was named the MIAA Coach of the Year, while Lacy Stokes was named the MIAA Freshman and Player of the Year as the league announced their yearly honors today.

The Lions three players in total earn honors from the league’s coaches.

Under the guidance of head coach Ronnie Ressel the Lions went from being picked to finish tied for ninth in the coaches poll and tenth in the media poll to being co-champions of the MIAA regular season and earning the first 20 win season for the program since the 2014-15 season. The Lions are currently on a 15-game winning streak to close the MIAA schedule and that saw a program record 19 MIAA wins.

The Lions were paced by Lacy Stokes who was named the MIAA Player of the Year, the unanimous Freshman of the Year, a first team All-MIAA selection at guard, and was on the All-Defensive team. Lacy is the second Lion ever to earn MIAA Player of the Year with Melissa Grider being distinguished as such for her performances in the 1995-96 season. The Lions had three win the CSIC Player of the Year Award in Pam Brisby for 1981-82, Margaret Womack for 1985-86 and Anita Rank for 1986-87.

Lacy is the first player in the history of the MIAA to earn both Player and Freshman of the Year in the same season and is the first-ever Freshman of the Year winner for the Lions. The last time the Freshman of the Year was also named onto the All-MIAA first team was in the 2019-20 season with Tre’Zure Jobe at Emporia State. Lacy is the 11th Lion to be named first-team All-MIAA and the first since Sharese Jones in the 2015-16 season and the first freshman to ever be named onto the first team for Southern.

For the season, Lacy has the school’s freshman records in single-season scoring with 523 points, points per game at 19.4, steals with 86, steals per game at 3.19, single-game scoring with 36 vs. Pittsburg State on February 19th, while racking up 13 games scoring 20 or more points and has scored 20 or more points in six straight games with an assist-turnover ratio of 3.58.

In MSSU single-season records, Lacy is first in assist-turnover ratio at 3.58, second in assists per game with 5.7, third in assists with 154, fifth in steals with 86, seventh in points per game with 19.4 and is tenth in single-season scoring with 523 points

Among Division II ranks Lacy is first in assist-turnover ratio, second in steals and steals per game, third in free throws attempted, seventh in free throws made, ninth in assists and assists per game, 13th in field goals attempted, 20th in points per game and 43rd in field goals made. Lacy leads Division II freshman in assist-turnover ratio, assists, assists per game, steals, steals per game and free throws attempted while being third in points scored, point per game and free throws made, fourth in field goals attempted and fifth in field goals made.

Lacy across the NCAA Divisions (I, II, III) overall ranks third in assist-turnover ratio, 11th in free throws attempted, 13th in free throws made, 16th in steals, 35th in steals per game and is 36th in assists and assists per game. Among freshman in the NCAA Divisions (I, II, III) Lacy leads them in assist-turnover ratio and free throws attempted, third in steals and free throws made, fourth in assists, assists per game and steals per game. Fifth in points scored, sixth in field goals attempted, seventh in points per game and 11th in field goals made.

Amaya Johns picks up her first career All-MIAA honors being named to the third team this season. Johns has been used as a starter and off the bench and has been the scoring spark off the bench primarily as a versatile forward this season. This season she is second on the team with 283 points the 21st amount in the MIAA and an average of 11.3 points a game the 22nd best average in the MIAA, while shooting 108-of-259 for .417 percent from the field, 25-of-75 for .33 percent from three and 42-of-58 for .724 percentage from free throws. Johns has pulled down 120 rebounds at a 4.8 per game rate.

This season Johns has set new career-highs in points scored with 24 at Lincoln on February 7th, rebounds with 10 at a then #2 Fort Hays State, assists with three against Lincoln on December 18th, 2021 and Emporia State at home on January 15th, has come away with two steals in three games this season and had two blocks against Henderson State on November 12th, 2021 and at Northeastern State on January 11th. She had career-highs in field goals made with eight at Northeastern State, sank four threes at Central Missouri on February 5th and made seven free throws at Lincoln on February 7th.

Madi Stokes was named a third team All-MIAA selection and was a member of the All-Defensive team after averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds a game and having 43 blocks, the second most in the MIAA, while averaging a conference-high 1.79 blocks a game. For Madi this is her second time earning All-MIAA honors and being named to the All-Defensive team as she was an honorable mention selection last season after leading the MIAA in blocks for most of the season and was the only player to average a double-double a season ago (10.3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game). This season Madi leads the team with a .507 field goal percentage going 106-of-209 from the field and has cemented herself as one of the best shot blockers in the MIAA and as the best shot blocker in school history since the stat started being recorded.

This season Madi has set a new standard for Lion shot blockers as she surpassed former teammate Zoe Campbell (17-20) atop the career blocks chart and currently has 126 for her career and is second in school history with a career average of 1.68 blocks per game. Madi became only the second Lion ever to have three seasons of 30 or more blocks (Caryn Schumaker 1988-91), and currently holds the freshman and sophomore records for blocks in a season and blocks in a game. Currently she has the second (50), third (43) and 13th (33) best seasons for total blocks in school history along with tying the school record for blocks in a game and is the only Lion to ever have a seven, six and five block game in a career. Madi ranks 38th in blocks per game and 44th for blocks among Division II players this season and among sophomores in Division II is second in blocks per game and third in blocks.

The Lions will open up the MIAA Tournament on Thursday at noon with the winner of Pittsburg State/Washburn.

Below is the full list of All-MIAA honorees.

2022 MIAA Postseason Awards
Player of the Year – Lacy Stokes – Missouri Southern, Freshman
Defensive Player of the Year – Nija Collier – Central Missouri, Senior
Freshman of the Year – Lacy Stokes – Missouri Southern*
Coach of the Year – Ronnie Ressel – Missouri Southern*
*Unanimous Selection

2022 MIAA All-Defensive Team
Connie Clarke – Missouri Western, Sophomore
Nija Collier – Central Missouri, Senior
Brooke Rayner – Central Oklahoma, Junior
Lacy Stokes – Missouri Southern, Freshman
Madi Stokes – Missouri Southern, Sophomore

2022 All-MIAA First Team
Nija Collier – Central Missouri, Senior
Jaden Hobbs – Fort Hays State, Senior
Kelsey Johnson – Central Oklahoma, Senior
Brooke Littrell – Central Missouri, Freshman
Lacy Stokes – Missouri Southern, Freshman

2022 All-MIAA Second Team
Elisa Backes – Nebraska Kearney, Junior
Connie Clarke – Missouri Western, Sophomore
Tristan Gegg – Pittsburg State, Senior
Tre’Zure Jobe – Emporia State, Sophomore
Katie Wagner – Fort Hays State, Freshman

2022 All-MIAA Third Team
Hunter Bentley – Washburn, Senior
Amaya Johns – Missouri Southern, Junior
Mallory McConkey – Northwest Missouri, Senior
Whitney Randall – Fort Hays State, Senior
Madi Stokes – Missouri Southern, Sophomore

2022 All-MIAA Honorable Mention
Central Missouri: Olivia Nelson, Freshman
Central Oklahoma: Brooke Rayner, Junior
Emporia State: Ehlaina Hartman, Freshman – Karsen Schultz, Junior
Fort Hays State: Cydney Bergmann, Senior – Olivia Hollenbeck, Freshman
Missouri Western: Corbyn Cunningham, Senior – Brionna Budgetts, Sophomore
Nebraska Kearney: Klaire Kirsch, Junior – Haley Simental, Graduate – Brooke Carlson, Junior
Northeastern State: Maleeah Langstaff, Senior
Northwest Missouri: Molly Hartnett, Freshman – Peyton Kelderman, Freshman
Washburn: Abby Oliver, Sophomore