By: Jacob Seus
On Tuesday, Mizzou defeated Central Missouri 65-35 in its preseason opener.
Freshman Amber Smith gave the Tigers their first lead of game at the three-minute mark of the first quarter but the offense would struggle early.
Missing open looks and failing to rebound was an early problem for Robin Pingeton’s squad. Mizzou looked rusty after five months of no game action but still led 16-5 at the end of the first quarter. Central Missouri hit a three on their first possession of the game but the Tigers held them to only one more basket the rest of the quarter.
Sophie Cunningham led the Tigers with seven first quarter points. Lindsay Cunningham and Sierra Michaelis both had three rebounds as the Tigers finished the first quarter strong.
Mizzou continued to find their rhythm in the second frame going on a 16-2 run. Sophie Cunningham would finish the first half with consecutive buckets. The Tigers led Central Missouri 27-14 at halftime.
Sophie Cunningham looked to be in mid-season form. She was 5-9 with two rebounds and an assist in the first. It appeared secondary scoring may be an issue for the Tigers without Jordan Ferricks or Bri Porter. The next highest scorer for the Tigers was Lindsay Cunningham with five points. The Cunningham sisters combined for 18 of the Tigers 27 first half points.
It was much of the same for the Tigers in the second half. Mizzou began the half on a 10-2 run breaking the game wide open. Mizzou still struggled to get shots to drop in the second half.
With the Tigers up 41-16 late in the 3rd quarter Sophie Cunningham made her way to the bench with four personal fouls. Michaelis would enter and pick up right where Cunningham left off.
Lindsay Cunningham would finish strong in the 4th quarter and end the evening with 19 points,her regular season high is 14 points. Mizzou would roll in the 4th and go on to win their first preseason game.
The Tigers next preseason contest is Monday, November 7th against Truman State at Mizzou Arena.