By: Joey Schneider, KCOU Sports
In their first home game in nearly two weeks, the Missouri Tigers Women’s Basketball team defeated the Milwaukee Panthers 68-55. It was the first matchup between the opponents since 1999 and Mizzou rode a balanced team effort to earn their fourth win of the young season.
While the Panthers had just one win on the season, the contest didn’t prove easy for the Tigers. The score was tied at six after the first four minutes, with 2 missed 3-pointers and 4 turnovers on the Tigers’ behalf.
Mizzou rallied for a 13-2 run after the first timeout, led by freshman Bri Porter’s first six points. The Tigers ended the first half with a 14-point advantage, aided by the late-half aggressiveness of sisters Maddie and Morgan Stock.
The team settled for 37 first half points, including 15 field goals, five 3-pointers and two free throws. Mizzou’s defense also provided a comfortable cushion in the opening twenty minutes, limiting Milwaukee to just 23 points and forcing six steals.
The Tigers opened the second half with a 10-5 run, but Milwaukee began fighting their way back into the game with seven unanswered points and a 15-2 run near the 12-minute mark. Junior guard Ashley Green sparked the Panthers’ offense with 14 points and accounted for five of Milwaukee’s twenty field goals.
Mizzou rebounded the rest of the game, figuratively and literally. The team’s lead grouped together after fighting off a slim six point lead and picked up 16 second-half defensive rebounds in the effort.
Scoring was stagnant around the half’s midpoint, as the opponents combined for nine points from 9:30-4:30 left in the second half. Mizzou’s defense held the Panthers to a mere 34.4% shooting percentage in the final twenty minutes, but Milwaukee was nearly as impressive holding Mizzou to just 10 second half buckets.
From that rough stretch on, the Tigers took control in the final minutes. Mizzou would finish the game with an 11-7 run, dishing Milwaukee its fourth loss of the year.
One factor that contributed to the Tigers’ victory was their shooting accuracy, as Mizzou converted on more than 40% of their shots and 30% of 3-pointers. Lindsey Cunningham and Jordan Frericks picked up double-digit points, and combining for 14 of the Mizzou’s 59 rebounds.
This win marked Mizzou’s 100th women’s basketball win in the Mizzou Arena and third regular season home win. The team’s next home match is this Wednesday at 7 p.m. against a 2-3 Loyola Ramblers squad.