A Thursday night overtime thriller in Columbia resulted in Missouri women’s basketball pulling the upset over No. 18 Texas A&M, 70-65. Senior star Sophie Cunningham led the scoring for Mizzou with 22 points on the night, including 10 of Missouri’s 15 first-quarter points, and 6 in the final minute of overtime. The final six came after Cunningham took a hard fall near the basket after contact with a A&M player. She needed help off the floor, but still went on to sink a crucial layup for the Tigers.
That moment alone encapsulated the effort and leadership Cunningham brought for Mizzou Thursday.
Missouri got off to a hot start, sprinting out to a 12-4 lead halfway through the first quarter and going as far as 9 points ahead of the Aggies. However, Texas A&M quickly dug its way back into contention, as star guard Chennedy Carter provided much of the scoring for the first half. Of of the 32 points Texas A&M had at halftime, Carter scored for 20 of them.
A back-and-forth battle ensued- the lead changed hands 9 times over the course of the contest. Mizzou took the lead back from Texas A&M just before halftime, holding a slim 2-point cushion at 34-32. However, the Aggies seized control of the game in the 3rd quarter, with Carter and Kayla Wells each scoring 8 points each for the Maroon and White. Texas A&M led 52-45 after three.
Powered by Cunningham, Amber Smith (18 pts), and Lauren Aldrige, Mizzou came back in the 4th quarter. Each came through in the clutch, while TAMU’s top scorer Chennedy Carter (29 pts) faltered late, missing her last 9 shots.
With the game tied at 61, Missouri had a chance to take the lead, with possession of the basketball and 10 seconds left in regulation. Amber Smith lost the ball in the low post, squandered that.
Then horrifying flashbacks ensued for Tiger basketball fans- specifically, to Mizzou men’s basketball’s loss to Florida last January- which saw the team throw away a potential game-winning possesion, and the Gators score a go-ahead bucket.
Texas A&M clearly had some sympathy for Missouri’s heart break, because with seconds remaining, Wells missed the potential game-winner from 10-feet. Overtime it was.
Aldridge hit two crucial 3-pointers in the game- one to take the lead initially in the 4th quarter, and the other the go-ahead basket in overtime. At the end of the night, it led the Tigers to victory and snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Aggies.
The Tigers move to 17-7 overall and 6-4 in SEC play. Mizzou will remain in Columbia to square off against the struggling Vanderbilt Commodores (6-16, 1-8 SEC) on Sunday afternoon, as well as head coach Robin Pingeton aiming to win her 500th career game.
Texas A&M drops to 18-5 overall and 7-3 in the SEC. The Aggies will get a week off and head back home to College Station, where they will take on the LSU Tigers (14-8, 5-5 SEC) in a Valentine’s Day contest.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org