Women’s team loses 7 players, signs 3

Senior guard Danielle Devader drives the ball down the court in Southens 83-69 loss to Emporia State.

Jim Quist

Senior guard Danielle Devader drives the ball down the court in Southen’s 83-69 loss to Emporia State.

Cody Thorn

A trip to Kansas City turned out to be historic for the Missouri Southern women’s basketball team last weekend.

Missouri Southern won its first conference postseason game in Kansas City, a span that started in 2002-2003 when the games were moved to a central location.

Southern upset No. 4 seeded Central Missouri 62-57, before falling to nationally ranked Emporia State 83-69.

“I was excited about the fact that this team making out with the win,” MSSU Women’s Head Coach Maryann Mitts said. “It was more important of a feat because it was the first time we have won in K.C.

“It is exciting to be involved in one more or two more days of the MIAA Tournament. It is fun to be a part of it.”

Senior Myosha Barnes led the Southern with 20 points. She led four Lions who scored in double figures.

Southern was also whistled for 17 fouls in the game, 10 more than Emporia State.

Now, with the season over and a 19-10 record, the Southern coaching staff of Mitts, Ronda Hubbard, Tyrone Jones and Marcus Moeller will be racking up the miles traveling around the country trying to refill a roster.

As it stands now, the only players back for Southern will be juniors Randi Henderson and Jolea Apon, sophomore Brittany Vavoa-Huggins and freshmen Bailey Beale and Michelle Hedgecock.

The loss to Emporia State ended the playing career of seven players.

Those seniors are India Wood, Tia Evenson, Barnes, Misti Johnson, Danielle DeVader, Lindsey Davis and Nichole Helfrich.

DeVader ends her senior years at Southern holding the school record for 3-point goals.

DeVader had 72 3-point goals on the season.

Along with the returning players the Lions have signed three players already that will factor into the playing rotation.

The first is Erin Rice, a 6-foot-2 post player from Cole Camp, Mo.

Also signed is a point guard from Vinita, Okla., Kelby Fritz, and a guard from Springfield Central, Myriah Hicks.

“We will look to fill in our needs,” Mitts said.

The plan for recruiting is to travel to the high school state tournaments, junior college playoffs and finals, as well as Division I and Division II tournaments.

“We would like to sign four or five more players,” Mitts said.

The signing period runs from April 15 to May 20.