Mizzou Women’s Basketball downed Missouri State, 73-49, behind a high-octane offense on Friday at Mizzou Arena. Mizzou (6-2) capitalized on timely three-point shooting and second half dominance in the paint and on the free throw line to secure a win over the Lady Bears.
Sophomore Sophie Cunningham (Columbia, Mo.) racked up a team-high 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. She is the only Mizzou player this year to put up at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in a single game, reaching those marks for the third consecutive contest. Cunningham’s 22 points were a season-high as she recorded the 11th 20-point performance of her career.
Redshirt senior Lindsey Cunningham (Columbia, Mo.) poured in a season-high 13 points tonight to go along with a season-high three steals. She also matched her career high for three-pointers made in a game with three treys.
Senior Sierra Michaelis (Mercer, Mo.) and sophomore Cierra Porter (Columbia, Mo.) also reached double figures, contributing 15 points and 13 points, respectively. Porter has now scored at least 10 points in all eight of Mizzou’s games this season.
Redshirt senior guard Lianna Doty (St. Louis, Mo.) added two assists Friday. She has now surpassed the 400-career assist mark, becoming just the third Tiger ever to reach that plateau.
The Cunningham sisters sparked the Tigers early and often on the offensive end. The duo accounted for 14 of the 22 Tigers’ first-quarter points. Michaelis also accounted for eight points of her own in the opening quarter, shooting 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
The Tigers extended their advantage throughout the second quarter and led the Bears by as many as 14 points at the 4:35 mark. Michaelis hit another clutch three-pointer with just over a minute left in the first half while the stingy Missouri defense held the Bears scoreless for the last 2:16 of the half. The Tigers entered halftime leading 40-29.
Mizzou picked up right where it left off offensively in the second half. Freshman guard Amber Smith (Shreveport, La) was a dominating force in the paint, racking up six points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Michaelis knocked down another deep three-pointer with 4:50 left, which extended the Mizzou lead to 53-36.
Mizzou’s defense kept Missouri State scoreless for almost six minutes down the stretch in the fourth quarter and held the Bears to just 20 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers stretched their lead to as many as 27 at the 2:17 mark in the fourth quarter. The Tigers held the Bears to 27 percent shooting from the field Friday, marking the fourth time that Mizzou has held an opponent under 30-percent shooting in a game this season.
Sophie Cunningham scored nine of her 22 points in the final quarter to help cement the 24-point victory by the Tigers.
Mizzou finished its two-game homestand 2-0 and now hits the road for a matchup with IUPUI (5-1) on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT.