By: James Stanley
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following a 69-48 thrashing of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday, Mizzou Women’s Basketball is traveling to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers (18-8, 8-5 SEC). Missouri is 6-4 on the road, and a win at Auburn would be the team’s eighth in conference play.
Senior guard Morgan Stock led Missouri against the Razorbacks with 17 points, with 15 of those points coming from behind the arc. Freshmen Cierra Porter and Sophie Cunningham shared the duty of collecting rebounds, and each finished with five.
Missouri started off hot beyond the arc against Arkansas shooting just above 46 percent in the first half, but cooled off in the second half shooting barely above 18 percent. On the opposite side, the Razorbacks went 1-12 from 3-point range, and shot 33.3 percent from the field.
When asked what an eighth win would mean for the team heading into the NCAA Tournament, Head Coach Robin Pingeton said, “I think it is so important that you get to at least eight wins in the SEC. I know that teams have gotten in with [fewer] wins than that in the SEC. But a lot of people respect how tough this conference is.”
Cunningham has had a roller coaster season in the scoring category, scoring as many as 42 points against Wake Forest on Nov. 22 of last year, and as few as four points against the Razorbacks. However, Pingeton feels that Cunningham has been consistent for Missouri all year.
“She’s facing a lot of team’s best defenders, and she’s made up for that in other areas of her game,” Pingeton said. “For a freshman to have the maturity of not forcing shots just to get [her] points, but being able to make that extra pass and create a good scoring opportunity for our team, is pretty incredible.”
This team has faced a few speed bumps along the way with losses to top-15 opponents Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M, but Pingeton feels like she has a tough group of players that can get through any adversity.
“I think because of the type of players that we have, that are so resilient and so committed to the [name on] the front of the jersey, any kind of adversity we have faced this year has been pretty minimal,” Pingeton said.
Missouri’s resiliency will be tested once again this Sunday, against an Auburn team that is riding a five-game win streak. Tip off for the Missouri-Auburn matchup is set for 2 p.m.