By: Jacob Seus, KCOU Sports
The Mizzou women’s basketball team took on the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday afternoon coming off a home loss last week to Arkansas. Sunday’s game was the annual `We Back Pat’ game, supporting the SEC’s initiative to raise money for the Pat Summitt Foundation. The Wildcats, ranked 14th in the country, were coming off a loss to the LSU Tigers. Missouri has had a tough time in SEC play so far and was looking to change its fortune.
The Tigers knew it was going to be a tough match against one of the nation’s best. They started out slowly turning the ball over four times on their first six possessions. Kentucky was able to capitalize on the mistakes, but Mizzou stuck around in the game thanks to the shooting of Morgan Eye. Eye had 10 points and 6 rebounds in the first half.
Midway through the first half, Bria Goss took over for the Wildcats. Goss had 11 first half points. Mizzou trailed for most of the first half. But their 3-point shooting kept themselves in the game. Sierra Michaelis led all scorers in the first half with 12 points. Michaelis was noticeably on top of her game shooting the ball and on the defensive side as well, forcing numerous Wildcat turnovers. Late free throws helped Mizzou bring the score within three, and gave the Tigers some momentum. Kentucky took a 43-40 lead in halftime.
Mizzou was able to stick with the Kentucky for the first few minutes of the second half, but it was clearly the Wildcats who came ready to play out of the break. The Tigers struggled to knock down shots and continued to struggle on the turnover margin. UK went up by 8 and didn’t look back. Thanks to the play of Jenifer O’Neill, who led all scorers on the game with 19 points, the Wildcats pushed away from Mizzou and showed why they are so highly ranked. Makayla Epps had a double-double for Kentucky with 18 points and 10 rebounds. They went on to defeat Missouri 83-69.
The highlight on the day for Mizzou was the play of Jordan Frericks. She had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. You could see the passion of the Missouri team through the play of Frericks. They played well, but for the third time in as many games, failed to get the job done in crunch time.
The Tigers will look to improve when they travel to Gainesville Thursday to take on the Florida Gators.