By: Olivia Gerling
A tight battle against Western Illinois ultimately came down to a few free throws, leading the Mizzou Women’s Basketball team to a 71-68 victory.
Sophomore Cierra Porter was a standout player, tallying 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds and career-high five blocked shots. She helped ignite Mizzou’s offense in the second quarter, along with freshman Jordan Chavis. Porter and Chavis organized a 10-0 run and helped Mizzou gain a 29-24 lead.
However, the game was back-and-forth the entire evening. The Tigers held the 34-31 lead heading into the second half, but the lead would go on to change 12 times in the final 20 minutes of play, alone.
Sophomore Sophie Cunningham was 5-for-10 in the second half with a last-second layup at the end of the third quarter to give the Tigers a one-point lead. Cunningham recorded a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists throughout the game.
The race would eventually be determined by a couple of fouls. With 1:17 remaining on the clock, Cunningham drew a foul to garner two free throws. She broke the 68-68 tie by draining both.
After a big defensive play by redshirt senior Lianna Doty to force a Western Illinois turnover, Cunningham added another free throw to give the Tigers 71-68 win.
The Tigers finished with their fifth win of the season. They will finish their two-game home stand on Friday when they host Missouri State at Mizzou Arena at 7 p.m.