MSSU women return eight, aiming for first winning season since 2016

The Lions are picked to finish 9th in the MIAA preseason coaches poll.

WATCH: Missouri Southern women’s basketball speaks at MIAA media day in Kansas City.

The Lions have eight players returning from last year’s team, aiming to lead Southern to its first winning season since 2016.

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team has been picked to finish ninth in the coaches poll and tenth in the media preseason poll announced by the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) today at the in-person Media Day at the College Basketball Experience this morning.

The Lions finished 9-14 overall last season and 9-13 in the MIAA as they secured a berth into the postseason tournament last March. As a team, the Lions were among the best at blocking shots finishing with 98 (9th in Division II and blocked shots per game 4.26 (30th in Division II).

Southern will be returning eight from last year’s team with six having starting experience in their collegiate careers. Leading the charge will be Madi Stokes who was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection and an All-Defensive team member last season. Stokes was the only player in the MIAA to average a double-double, averaging 10. 3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game while blocking 50 shots the second-beat tally for a single-season in school history and was the second in the MIAA last season.

Supporting Stokes will be Layne Skiles who averaged 6.3 points and shot 35.1 percent from deep while playing 28.3 minutes a game last season. Brooke Stauffer is the leading returners with 35 assists dished out and had 13 steals a season ago, Amaya Johns scored 7.7 points and grabbed 3.0 rebounds a night in 14.2 minutes a game and Kaitlin Hunnicutt scored 6.7 points a game connecting on 26 threes and had a 2.11 assist – turnover ratio as a freshman. Six newcomers were added in the form of a Division I transfer and five freshmen to bolster the Lions ranks this season.

The defending MIAA regular season champions Fort Hays State were picked to win the conference in both the media and coaches poll this season. Central Missouri who made it to the Final Four this past season was picked second in the coaches and tied with Fort Hays for first in the media poll.

Picked third and fourth in both polls were Nebraska-Kearney and Emporia State. Central Oklahoma, Washburn, Pittsburg State and Missouri Western rounded out the top eight teams in both polls. Missouri Southern was picked ninth in the coaches poll and tenth in the media poll, Northwest Missouri tied with the Lions in the coaches poll and was tabbed ninth in the media poll. Northeastern State, Rogers State, Lincoln, and Newman rounded out the polls this season.

Complete Coaches and Media polls with total points and first-place votes are below. The Lions will have an exhibition at Wichita State on November 4 and will open the season at home on November 12-13.

2021-2022 MIAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Fort Hays State (6) – 159 points
2. Central Missouri (3) – 154 points
3. Nebraska Kearney (3) – 153 points
4. Emporia State (2) – 136 points
5. Central Oklahoma – 121 points
6. Washburn – 106 points
7. Pittsburg State – 94 points
8. Missouri Western – 78 points
T9. Missouri Southern – 71 points
T9. Northwest Missouri – 71 points
11. Northeastern State – 49 points
12. Rogers State – 34 points
T13. Lincoln – 24 points
T13. Newman – 24 points
Coaches Are Not Allowed To Vote For Their Own Team

2021-2022 MIAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll
T1. Central Missouri (5) – 118 points
T1. Fort Hays State (4) – 118 points
3. Nebraska Kearney – 112 points
4. Emporia State – 98 points
5. Central Oklahoma – 87 points
6. Washburn – 72 points
7. Pittsburg State – 70 points
8. Missouri Western – 65 points
9. Northwest Missouri – 62 points
10. Missouri Southern – 49 points 
T11. Northeastern State – 32 points
T11. Rogers State – 32 points
13. Newman – 18 points
14. Lincoln – 12 points