Women's Basketball picked to finish 9th/13th in MIAA Coaches and Media preseason polls

Kansas City, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern women's basketball team has been picked to finish tied for ninth with Lincoln in the coaches and thirteenth in the media MIAA preseason basketball polls, the league announced today. 

The Lions return only two players and one starter from last year's squad that finished the year 8-18 overall, while going 4-16 in the MIAA. After qualifying for ten consecutive MIAA conference tournaments, the Lions will look to rebound and get back to their winning ways this season.

The lone senior on the squad for the Lions this year will be forward Erin Rice. A third-team All-MIAA performer last year, Rice started all 26 games while leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 14.9 ppg and 5.3 rpg. The other returner for the Lions will be junior guard Shatara Stone, who played in all 26 games averaging 5.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg a year ago.

The Lions welcome in 11 newcomers to the lineup that includes three freshman, four junior college transfers and four four-year transfers. Junior center Shonte Clay, junior guard Samantha Soyez, sophomore center Bria Venson and sophomore guard Nicole Hartzog bring a combined six years of Division I or II college basketball experience with them to Southern.

Fans will get a chance to get their first look at the 2012-13 Lions this Thursday evening at Meet the Lions night at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The Lions have a pair of exhibition games hosting Livin' The Dream on Saturday at 1 pm and at the University of San Francisco on November 2. They open up the regular season at the Pitt State Tip Off Classic on November 9 against Mary (ND) University. 

The complete MIAA polls are listed below. 

2012-13 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Washburn (8)                                               189

2. Pittsburg State (6)                                      178

3. Emporia State (1)                                        171

4. Northeastern State                                     154

5. Fort Hays State                                             139

6. Central Missouri                                          135

7. Truman                                                           112

8. Central Oklahoma                                       110

T9. Lincoln                                                          65

T9. Missouri Southern                                   65

11. Missouri Western                                     64

T12. Lindenwood                                            62

T12. Southwest Baptist                                 62

14. Northwest Missouri                                51

15. Nebraska-Kearney                                   18


2012-13 MIAA Preseason Media Poll

1. Washburn (8)                           257

2. Pittsburg State (8)                  254

3. Emporia State (2)                    235

4. Northeastern State                 204

5. Fort Hays State                         193

6. Central Missouri                      183

7. Central Oklahoma                   156

8. Truman                                       152

9. Lindenwood                             117

10. Southwest Baptist               93

11. Lincoln                                     87

12. Missouri Western                 69

13. Missouri Southern               65

14. Northwest Missouri            60

15. Nebraska-Kearney               35