MSSU women’s basketball start season 2-1

Freshman forward Kristen Hanna goes for layup after nabbing a steal during last week’s game with Manhattan (Kan.) Christian.

Willie Brown, The Chart

Freshman forward Kristen Hanna goes for layup after nabbing a steal during last week’s game with Manhattan (Kan.) Christian.

Missouri Southern’s Women’s Basketball team has just begun their season for the 2011-2012 school year. The team is starting with only two returning players after a disappointing season with only eight wins. 

“With so many new players, our canvas is blank and we look forward to having the opportunity to paint on that canvas anything we want,” Maryann Mitts, head coach, said. 

“We are looking forward to proving ourselves—proving who we are first to ourselves, then to our fans and finally to the MIAA.”

The Lions thus far have played six games, losing three and winning two (the results of game against Newman on Nov. 15 were not available at press time. 

Check out for  updated results). Losses were during exhibition games and the two wins and one loss began regular season.

This season the team consists of 13 women: two returning players, two transfers, three freshmen and one currently rehabbing after tearing her ACL are among the team.

“This season [will be] an exciting year for our program,” Mitts said. 

“Our new players will need to get the experience necessary to be successful in the very competitive MIAA.”

Mitts says that the conference is especially difficult because of the expansion of the league this year and their positioning in the pod. 

They will encounter one of the toughest schedules in the NCAA DII basketball.

“The faster this group adjusts to the physicality of our league, the more success we will have.” Mitts said. 

“We will have our challenges but I feel confident that we will be very competitive night in and night out.”

Mitts has been head coach at Southern for 17 years and says she is very proud of the women who will be playing in green and gold this year.

“This is one of my favorite teams up to this point,” Mitts said. 

“Their team chemistry both on and off the court has been impressive considering they just met each other in June.  They are a very coachable group – they listen and work hard, which in turn usually produces daily improvement.  The intensity at which they play the game and their teamwork is likewise improving. Each of them is a great representation to Missouri Southern and will be a pleasure to watch on game day.”

The team will take on Avilla on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Pizza Hut/Fairfield Inn Thanksgiving Classic.