By Olivia Evans
Mizzou took some easy wins to start off several seasons. Some teams took a hard loss and other teams rallied to new heights, downing nationally ranked competitors. Here’s what’s happening this week in Mizzou Athletics.
This past Wednesday the Tigers opened up their regular season play with a home game, and another home game followed on Friday. Wednesday night the Tigers defeated Incarnate Word 74-62, and Friday the Tigers bested Northern Kentucky 71-56. While Mizzou managed to secure the win in both these games, the defensive end of the floor struggled. The Tigers picked up lots of lazy fouls by not moving their feet. Mizzou was also comfortable with allowing both teams to shoot long-range shots with very little pressure. Mizzou needs to continue to grow on the defensive side of the ball this season.
On the offensive side, the Tigers made it look easy. Xavier Pinson and Javon Pickett are a dynamic duo to have out on the floor. They work well off one another and constantly look for their teammates to get the best shot. True freshman Kobe Brown has played nothing like a freshman so far this season and has been slamming it in and confidently finding his way to the hoop.
The Tigers will face off with Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday.
The women’s team took down a competitive Western Illinois 97-89 in their first overtime game of the season. The Tigers saw five players score double-digits, including all the seniors. Amber Smith led the team with 27 points and 15 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. Mizzou held the lead the whole first half, but coming out of halftime Western Illinois went on a 12-2 run and led by four points going into the fourth quarter. The Tigers offense worked well together and looked to get as many people to touch the ball as possible. This was the Tiger’s highest-scoring game since 2017. This was also the first game since 2018 where two Mizzou players recorded a double-double; Smith and Hannah Schuchts were the two to do it, and their defense looked very fundamental and quick.
The Tigers have a long week with three games, the first two at home. They play Nebraska on Sunday, Northern Iowa on Wednesday and Green Bay on Saturday in Wisconsin.
Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country:
This week both the men’s and women’s team will head to Oklahoma for NCAA Regionals. Currently, the women’s squad is seeded within the top five and the men are seeded in the top 15. The goal for both squads is to finish in the single-digit placing. The men will run a 10K, which is the longest race of the season so far, while the women continue to run a 6K.
On Saturday night, the Tigers fell to the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs 27-0. This was the first shutout Mizzou has faced all season. The Tigers are now 5-4 on the season and 2-3 in SEC play. Mizzou still needs to win at least one more regular-season game in order to even talk about bowl eligibility, despite the looming bowl ban proposal.
The saving grace for the Tigers was D-Line Zou. The defense allowed only 339 total yards of play from Georgia. The Bulldogs have been averaging just shy of 500 yards of play this season and ranked 26th in the nation for an offense. Nick Bolton once again proved why he deserves to play with nine tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Khalil Oliver and Jarvis Ware both had seven tackles to help the defense.
The Tigers struggled on offense. Kelly Bryant did not play this game, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury from the Kentucky game. Taylor Powell made his first career start at the QB for the Tigers, he went 10-22 for 84 yards in his debut. The Tigers also played true freshman Connor Bazelak who went 8-12 for 64 yards. It is still possible for Bazelak to use this year as a redshirt year if needed. He has played in two total games this season and is allowed to enter four games while maintaining redshirt status. Mizzou only managed 198 total yards of offense.
This upcoming Saturday the Tigers have an early start at home against Florida.
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving:
In the quad meet at Kentucky, the Tigers went a perfect 5-0 against ranked opponents. On the first day of the meet, Mizzou had already captured nine victories over Arkansas, Kentucky and NC State. By the end of the two-day meet, the Tigers had tallied a total of 22 wins out of 38 events while posting three nation-leading relay times.
“It was more of the same for the Tigers. They really got behind one another today. We’re starting to see them get higher in the water and reinforce better details, and the results speak for themselves. We’re really excited for the Mizzou Invite and I can’t wait to see what these Tigers do two weeks from now,” head coach Andrew Grevers said.
The Tigers compete again on November 19 at home.
This week the Tigers are gearing up to head to Newport Beach, California to compete in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Wednesday through Sunday. This will be the final competition of the fall season.
The Tigers take the underdog victory in a 3-2 win at Alabama on Friday. This was Mizzou’s second five-set win of the season. The Tigers now sit 15-6 on the season and 7-4 in the SEC. Mizzou posted 73 kills, nine blocks and seven aces for a total of 89 points. This is a team-high in kills in the last nine years. Kylie Deberg and Leketor Member-Meneh both posted 21 kills while setter Andrea Fuentes had a career-high 62 assist. This game marks Deberg’s 1000 career point and 100 career aces.
“I’m pleased with our ladies for continuing to fight and battling until the very end. Getting wins on the road in SEC play is a big deal and we’ll look to continue this momentum Sunday at Georgia,” head coach Joshua Taylor said.
The Tigers finish up the weekend with a Sunday game in Athens against the Georgia Bulldogs before heading back to Columbia to face off with the Crimson Tide from Alabama again on Friday.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org