Basketball is back as Lions eye conference title


The Missouri Southern men’s basketball team was chosen by the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) to finish 4th in the preseason poll announced on Oct. 22.

“Being picked fourth doesn’t hold any value to me,” said head coach Jeff Boschee. “I’d rather be picked lower than higher anyway. I’ve always been an underdog type of person and I think it adds a little fuel to the fire for our guys.”

Boschee is now in his second season as Lions head coach. Boschee led the Lions to their second consecutive 20-win season (Four 20+ win seasons in last five years) and second consecutive MIAA title game appearance last year.

Boschee is returning nine players from last season’s 20-win team including starters Austin Wright, Greg Renfroe, and Taevaunn Prince. Renfroe was a MIAA All-Defensive selection last year, while Prince was a second-team All-MIAA selection. Wright set the MSSU single-season and single-game record for three pointers as he currently sits in fourth place for career three’s. Wright is just one shy of becoming third on the all-time lists and 48 three’s shy of becoming the all-time leader.

The Lions also return six others to the rotation, four of whom saw action including sophomore Charlie Brown, senior Taylor Luster, senior Blaine Miller and senior Bruce Marshall. Terence Pierce and Andrew Ballock redshirted.

Southern welcomes in six new additions to its roster. LJ Ross comes in from Arkansas-Fort Smith, but he practiced with the team the second half of last season. Ross will miss the 2015-2016 season after having season ending leg surgery. Braelon Walker and Brady Petry are the lone freshmen, while senior DJ Feitl comes to the Southern from John Brown University where he averaged 18.4 points per game last year. Sophomore Vince Fritz (Sacred Heart) and junior Isaac Kreuer (UMKC) are Division I transfers.

Southern will open the regular season tonight at 7 p.m. in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Southern is playing host to the MIAA/NSIC Challenge. The Lions will play St. Cloud State tonight and Minnesota State on Saturday at 5 p.m.


The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) announced its women’s basketball coaches’ pre-season poll on Oct. 22. The Lions ranked eighth in the conference.

Head coach Ronda Hubbard enters her third season as the Lions’ head coach. Last season Hubbard led this program to its first 20-win season in 19 years. Hubbard has an overall record of 39-15 (.722), which is the most wins in the first two seasons of any tenure in Southern’s women’s basketball history. Her .722 winning percentage is the second best in the first two seasons following former AD Sallie Beard’s .750 in the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons.

Hubbard is returning nine players from last season’s MIAA postseason team led by second team All-MIAA selection senior Sharese “Winkie” Jones, who led the team in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).

“My expectations for Winkie are huge, even more so than last season,” said Hubbard “Winkie is going to really have to have a great senior year to move to the next level and becoming a first team All MIAA selection. She’s always been a lead-by-example type of girl, but I also will need her to be a little bit more vocal.”

Also returning for Hubbard are seniors Kenya Wilson-Brown, Tami Morice and Verjell Bowleg, along with sophomores Jordan Dinyer, Jenson Maydew, Anna Hignight, Dru Clark and Kayla Kivinski. Brown, Morice, Dinyer and Maydew all played significant roles in last season’s MIAA playoff team. Players like Bowleg, Hignight, Clark and Kivinski all had limited roles last season and are expected to step right in this season and contribute.

New to the roster this season is Deb Holcomb, D1 transfer Bri Shavers, senior transfer Sayna Azad and local freshmen Desirea Buerge and Chelsey Henry.

Holcomb comes to Southern from St. Louis Community College, where she earned first team All-American honors her sophomore season. She was a first-team All-Conference and All-Region pick as a freshman and sophomore. Holcomb finished second in the nation at the NJCAA D-II level with 25.2 points per game. Holcomb also was the first SLCC player to score 1,000 points, finishing with 1,088 for the Archers.

“She’s the go-to player,” said Hubbard with no hesitation. “I like everything about her game. She can do it all. She’s a prolific scorer, but she just needs to play harder because now she’s in the MIAA.”

The Lions will open their regular season today as they travel to Weatherford, Okla., to play in the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Classic. The Lions will be taking on Oklahoma Baptist University at noon and Southwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday.