By: Ben Brady
The Missouri Tigers women’s basketball team raised for the first time since 2005 a NCAA Tournament banner at Mizzou Arena before topping Abilene Christian, 52-46. The story was the defense for the Tigers as they forced 22 turnovers to advance in the Preseason WNIT Tournament.
Sophomore forward Cierra Porter led Mizzou with a double-double scoring 10 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Sophie Cunningham led all scorers with 13 points. However, it was senior Sierra Michaelis in the fourth quarter who saved Missouri from the upset as she scored all 11 of her points in the fourth quarter.
ACU was 26-4 and won the Southland Conference Championship last season. The Wildcats would come out of the gate fast. They starting the game on an 11-2 run before Mizzou would be able to come back and get it within one at the end of the first quarter.
From there it was a back and forth game with both teams going on long droughts where the offense could get nothing to fall. With how well the Tigers’ defense forced turnovers, they also coughed up 20 turnovers themselves.
Mizzou would go into the locker room with a 25-21 lead in large part to a three-minute drought by ACU to close out the first half.
The second half was no different from the first as both teams went back and forth.
The difference in the game happened in the fourth quarter when Michaelis sparked the Tiger offense to go on an 11-0 run to put the Tigers up 44-36 with 5:15 left in the game. She would also force two turnovers that led to a 50-43 lead for the Tigers with just over two minutes left.
Missouri’s next opponent will be decided by the winner of Nebraska-UTGRV. The Tigers’ next game will either be on Nov. 13 or 14.