Lady Bears picked as MVC favorites, Calip named preseason POTY

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri State Lady Bears were picked to three-peat as Missouri Valley Conference champions in Tuesday’s preseason poll.

It was not unanimous, however, as the Lady Bears received 35 of 40 first-place votes while Drake received two first-place votes and UNI received the final three.

MSU is fresh off back-to-back sweet sixteen trips in the NCAA tournament along with the program’s first undefeated conference season in 202-21.

The Lady Bears have also claimed two straight MVC regular season titles and notched back-to-back 16-win conference seasons.

Missouri State will look to win three straight MVC titles for the first time ever and become the first team since Drake did it from 2017-2019.

The Lady Bears also claimed some preseason individual honors.

Sixth-year senior Brice Calip was chosen as the MVC Preseason Player of the Year after winning player of the year last season behind 13.3 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game.

Reigning MVC Defensive Player of the Year, Jasmine Franklin, joined Calip on the all-conference preseason team.

Franklin averaged 13.6 points per game along with 9.9 rebounds per game.

“We have great leadership on this team,” Head Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said. “Obviously Brice and Jaz are two of them, but we have five starters that are coming back. Seven seniors total including one of our transfers. We have a lot of experience. Most of our players have played in two sweet sixteens and won multiple championships in this league. Brice and Jaz, Abby Hipp some of those are some of our most competitive kids and they’re just going to lead the way.”

The Lady Bears tip-off the 2021-22 season on Tuesday, November 9th with a visit to Little Rock for a 7:30 pm start.

Their first home game comes Sunday, November 14th at 1:00 pm hosting North Texas.

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