The women, just like the men’s team, tip their season off on Nov. 9th. Their season opener much closer to home in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They will be competing in the GAC/MIAA challenge.
“A lot of excitement. Especially with nine new faces and five of those being freshmen,” said head coach Ronnie Ressel.
On Friday, Nov. 9th the Lions will be going against the host of the challenge, Oklahoma Baptist University and on Saturday, the Lions will be playing in a neutral site matchup against Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Similar to the men, the women started last season against these exact teams, only difference is that the event was hosted by the Lions last time around. The Lions took two losses to open the season as well, falling to OBU 90-82, and to SWOSU 84-70. The women’s first home game is Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 5:30 p.m. against Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
They will be heading to San Juan, Peurto Rico this season for non-confernce games. The Lions are scheduled to play on Tuesday, Nov. 20 against the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, they also play on Wednesday, Nov. 21 against Pontifical Catholic.
The Lions were picked to finish 10th in the MIAA this season by the coaches. The Lions finished ninth last season with an 11-17 record. Despite the losing record the Lions showed spurts of great basketball during the middle of the season last season. They went on an 8-game winning streak last season when they were 1-7. They would finish the season similar to the way they started it.
A lot of the struggles had to do with nagging injuries to a very small lineup to begin with.
Injuries along with other things may take it’s toll to start the season.
The Lions roster just 14 players and are only returning four players from last years roster, only one of them was a starter.
“Our depth and competition every day in practice has been really good. We have more depth than we did a year ago, and we’re really excited about that aspect of it,” said Ressel.
Ressel added height, a goal of his this past offseason, to a roster that has lacked it for the most part the past few seasons. 6’ 2” Jordan Schoenberger comes to MSSU from Independence Community College, and 6’ 3” Madi Stokes joins the Lions from Cassville High School in Cassville, Missouri.
Chelsea Henry, the returning starter, averaged 17.5 points per game last season to lead the team.
“I’ve never had any trouble with Chelsea in terms of her effort. Everyone talks about lead by example, she does that tremendously,” said Ressel.
Others returning are sophomores Krista Clark, Morgan Brightwell, and Zoe Campbell. Also returning is redshirt sophomore Brooke Stauffer. Stauffer was a redshirt last year due to injury.