Lions Basketball: A season in review

Junior guard Stanley Titsworth defends against Northwest in the MIAA Tournament March 1. The Lions fell 89-56.

Jesse Cordova

Junior guard Stanley Titsworth defends against Northwest in the MIAA Tournament March 1. The Lions fell 89-56.

Jesse Cordova

The season was long, tiring, and unfortunately it ended all too abruptly. The 2007 edition of Missouri Southern Lions basketball is in the books. Here are some of the things that you may have missed or maybe some things that you just want to revisit.

The men’s team led by head coach Robert Corn experienced what most would call a rebuilding year as they came into the season with three new starters, all JUCO transfers. Junior guard Stanley Titsworth and junior forward Deonte Cox highlighted the newcomers as they both earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors. Cox led the team in scoring with 13.6 points a game. The two starters returning from the previous year were junior point guard Tyler Ryerson and senior forward Matt Habermehl. Ryerson was among the leaders in the MIAA in assists with 149 or 5.3 per game. Southern said goodbye to three seniors at the conclusion of this season. Habermehl, forward Ed Miles, and forward Dale Hunter.

Miles, a transfer from Clarendon (Texas) College, averaged 8.3 points per game in two years wearing the green and gold.

Hunter, a native of Joplin, improved every season with the Lions and just this past season recorded a career high 23 points and 15 rebounds on January 6th against third ranked Central Missouri.

Habermehl, who was one of the Lions’ better shooters, graduates this year after shooting 33 percent from 3-point range and 70 percent from the charity stripe.

Going into next season the lions will return four starters; Ryerson, Titsworth, Cox, and junior guard TJ Britton.

The women’s team started the season with eight straight wins. However, injuries caused the Lions to slump and the team finished 14-13 en route to bowing out in the first round of the MIAA postseason tournament.

Southern brought back three starters from the 05-06 edition in senior forward Dana Mae-Robbs and junior guards Robin Kantin and Danielle DeVader. During the preseason junior Vanashia Allen, who was penciled in to be the starting point guard, went down for the season with a tear in her Achilles tendon. That forced red shirt freshman Karina Kuczynski to move from her natural shooting guard position over to the point. It was a bumpy transition early and the turnover numbers show it. However, those same numbers showed steady improvement as the season went along. To help with the depth of the roster head coach Maryann Mitts went out and recruited two D1 transfers in sophomore guard India Wood and junior forward Fatai Hala’api’api.

The lone senior on the squad was Robbs. Robbs enjoyed a fruitful two year stay at Missouri Southern after transferring from Independence Community College. She ended up leading the team in scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) despite playing much of the season with a screw in her left hand. In her final season playing college basketball Robbs was able to garner honorable mention All-MIAA honors along with Kantin.

Going into next season the lions should be hungry. They will take the court next year with four D1 transfers in Kantin (Radford), Wood (Eastern Kentucky), Hala’api’api (Eastern Kentucky), and junior forward Tynesha Pierce (Texas-Pan America). Pierce finished second on the team in scoring (12.5) and rebounding (6.8).