By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
The simplest cure for inexperience is to play games.
Missouri Southern’s women’s basketball team makes its home debut tonight against Manhattan Christian. Tipoff is at 5:30.
It’s the Lions’ third game in four days after going 1-1 in the Pittsburg State Tipoff Classic. Missouri Southern lost to Mary (N.D.) 78-61 in its season debut and beat Southwest Minnesota State 73-65 on Saturday.
“It’s a great thing,” Mitts said of the quick return to game action. “We need to play ball games. We need to get comfortable in our roles and our rotation. The more games we can play, the more we can reproduce the intensity of what happened Saturday and the more confidence our team will get.
“They are all learning a new system. I can tell them all I want this system was good enough for a third-place tie (in the MIAA) two years ago, but they have to feel the success of the system. It is so important that a team with so many new players wins ball games early.”
The Lions fell behind 10-0 in their first game, and Mitts altered the starting lineup for the second game with good results. The Lions owned an 11-8 lead after four minutes and shot 56 percent from the floor (14-of-25) while building a 34-18 halftime advantage.
“Our starters responded and our players off the bench responded,” Mitts said, referring to 44 points from reserves. “We also shared the basketball better. We had 17 assists.”
The Lions had only six assists in their first game — one apiece by six players. By contrast, six players had multiple assists on Saturday, including three each by first-year players Shonte Clay, Tee Singleton and Kristen Hanna.
The best news for the Lions on Saturday was center Dominique Mosley played after being helped off the court with a knee injury on Friday. The injury is not as bad as first feared, and Mosley hit 4-of-5 shots and had eight points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.
“She will be examined again on Monday,” Mitts said. “I was not expecting her to play, and she played real well. She wanted more minutes, but 13 minutes is a good day for her.”
Tonight’s game is an exhibition for Manhattan Christian, an NCCAA Division II school that is in the Midwest Christian College Conference.
The Lady Crusaders are 2-1 this season with victories over Union College 75-49 and Central Christian 59-52. They lost their season opener 53-45 to Bethany College.