Yen Quach No. 25
After one season at SMS, 5-foot-2 senior guard Yen Quach, of Normal, Ill., is expected to take a leadership role as one of only two seniors on the Lady Bears squad. With 144 assists in her debut season at SMS, Quach was ranked 10th on the single-season assist chart and led the squad in assists 18 times. Starting at point guard in 29 of 30 games, Quach led in scoring twice, had a career-best 21 points vs. Kentucky, had five or more assists in 16 different games and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds three times. She topped the 10-point mark in 11 games.
Roshonda Reed No. 45
The most experienced Lady Bear on the squad, 6-foot senior guard-forward Roshonda Reed has started 78 of 80 career games for SMS. The 13th player in SMS history to reach 1,000 career points (1,047), Reed ranks fourth in career rebound average (7), 10th in scoring average (13.1), 10th in steals (125), sixth in three-pointers (41) and 10th in field goal attempts (971). Last season, Reed scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting against Creighton and made a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds at Illinois State.
Jackie Stiles No. 10
Entering her sophomore season with the Lady Bears, 5-foot-8 guard Jackie Stiles is looking to top a standout rookie campaign. Averaging 20.6 points per game, the freshman from Claflin, Kan., was the first Lady Bear to surpass the 600-point single-season plateau with 618 points. With 20 or more points in 16 contests, and double digits in all but one game, Stiles was the first player in league history to be named Player of the Week three times in one season. She also posted a freshman best and SMS's second-highest single-game total 39 points at Wichita State.
Rachel Johnson No. 34
A 6-foot-1 junior forward from Independence, Rachel Johnson is one of the most experienced post players on the squad. A reserve post player last season, Johnson appeared in 27 of 30 games and averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.8 minutes of play. She nailed 15-of-18 free-throws last year for a .833 percentage, and scored eight points and handed out a career-high four assists at Oklahoma. She tallied six points and four rebounds against Providence. As a freshman, she scored a career-best 12 points at Creighton, and scored 33 points in 61 minutes in the last four regular season games.
Sarah Singer No. 23
A 5-foot-9 junior guard, Sarah Singer hails from Miami, Okla. Ranking seventh on the SMS all-time charts in three-point field goals with 35, she was second in steals last season with 53. Turning in a career-high five assists on three occasions, Singer tied a career high of seven steals against Northern Iowa twice. As a freshman, she ranked second on the team in steals and fourth in rebounds, scored a career high 16 points at Northwestern and snagged a career-best nine rebounds at Southern Illinois. Singer also recorded 14 points against Indiana State and 13 points against Evangel.
Melody Campbell No. 30
A 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Claremore, Okla., Melody Campbell contributed to the Lady Bears' 1997-98 season as a backup point guard, appearing in every contest but one and averaging 8.7 minutes per game. Campbell ranked fifth on the team with 39 assists and posted career bests of four rebounds and six assists against Bradley. She started her first career game at Wichita State, and scored a season-high four points vs. fifth-ranked Illinois. Her season high in playing time was 18 minutes, against Northern Iowa. Campbell underwent arthroscopic knee surgery prior to her freshman season.
Carly Deer No. 33
Sophomore forward-guard Carly Deer, a 6-footer from Warrensburg, appeared in 27 of 30 games for the Lady Bears last year, averaging 9 minutes of play. She averaged 1.6 points on 17-of-38 shooting, 1.6 rebounds and one steal per game. Her top game in her SMS career was a season-high six points against Southern Illinois with five rebounds and five assists. She scored five points and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds in her debut against Grambling State. Campbell also recorded four points, three assists and two steals against Bradley.
Kimberly McDowell No. 00
The first player in Lady Bears history to wear No. 00, 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Kimberly McDowell, of Enid, Okla., saw increased action at the end of last season, averaging 14.6 minutes a game in the last nine games to boost her season average to more than 8 minutes. McDowell played 16 or more minutes in six games. During that nine-game period, she averaged 4.7 rebounds, hit a season-best 10 rebounds vs. Indiana State and played a personal-high 21 minutes with seven points, seven rebounds and three steals vs. Wichita State. She led the Lady Bears in blocked shots with 14.
Tara Mitchem No. 15
A 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, Springfield product Tara Mitchem sat out and practiced with the Lady Bears last year after transferring from Ohio State, where she played as a freshman in 1996-97. In her freshman season, she played in 27 of 28 games for the Buckeyes and was a key reserve off the bench, averaging 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game. She connected on .571 of her three-pointers and shot .730 from the foul line. She scored a career-high 13 points at Indiana, connecting on 11-of-12 free throws, and had a career-best four assists in 31 minutes of play vs. Illinois.
Starr Ryan No. 12
After reconstructive surgery on her left knee Feb. 5 and a second arthroscopic surgery on the same knee June 26, 5-foot-8 sophomore guard Starr Ryan, of Elk City, Okla., is working hard at rehab in hopes of contributing to this year's campaign. Last year, Ryan played in 12 games averaging 0.8 points and 0.4 steals in 5.3 minutes of play per game before missing the last half of the season with her knee injury. She scored a season-high four points against Oklahoma and Southern Illinois, and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line for the season.
Ann Cavey No. 52
A 6-foot-3 freshman center from North Cedar High in Mechanicsville, Iowa, Ann Cavey is making her collegiate debut with the Lady Bears. Cavey holds the all-time Iowa record for her career 1,196 rebounds, and, as a senior at North Cedar, averaged 24.7 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks per game. She led the Knights to a record of 64-9 in her last three seasons, including a perfect 36-0 conference mark. Cavey owns 24 North Cedar individual records, and her 15 rebounds per game as a freshman led the state and was the second-highest average in Iowa history.
Katie Handley No. 55
A product of Springfield's Glendale High School, 6-foot-1 freshman forward Katie Handley is expected to add depth to the Lady Bears frontcourt. She averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in her senior year as captain of the Lady Falcons. A three-year starter, Handley helped lead the Glendale team to a record of 101-15 and three straight conference and district titles. Handley was the starting center for the Lady Falcons' 27-3 team that won Glendale's first Missouri state basketball championship in 1996.
Dzenata Kadic No. 22
A native of Bosnia, 6-foot-5 freshman center Dzenata Kadic is the tallest Lady Bear in the history of the women's basketball program. Kadic played for the Bosnian Junior National Team in 1995 before coming to the United States. As a senior at Lutheran High School in Rockford, Ill., Kadic led the Crusaders to the conference title with a league mark of 13-1 and an overall 22-6 season while averaging 22 points and seven rebounds per game. As a junior, Kadic averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game.
Brandi Robinson No. 32
A 5-foot-11 freshman forward from Atoka High School in Atoka, Okla., Brandi Robinson was a four-year starter at Atoka averaging 20.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. She led the state (4A) in rebounding and ranked second in scoring as a senior. Robinson also ranked second in the state in field goal percentage (.629) and averaged 3.4 steals per game. As a junior, she averaged 17.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and as a sophomore, Robinson chalked up an average 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.