Senior Bri Kulas and the Tigers face MSU Sunday in a televised contest.
Jan. 25, 2014
Live Scoring: http://www.hailstate.com/liveStats/
TV: SportSouth; FOX Sports Midwest Plus
Radio: KTGR 100.5 FM, 103.1 FM and 1580 AM
Live Video: ESPN3
MU Head Coach: Robin Pingeton
(St. Ambrose `90) 56-57 at MU (4th season)
MSU Head Coach: Vic Schaefer
(Texas A&M, `84) 13-18 at MSU (2nd season)
MISSOURI LOOKS FOR ROAD WIN AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Missouri will head back out on the road to face Mississippi State on Sunday, Jan. 26. The game will air on SportSouth, FS Southwest, FS Midwest and Sun Sports. Locally, the game will be shown on FOX Sports Midwest Plus, AT&T U-verse: 691 (HD 1691), DirecTV: 680 (HD 680-1), Dish: 440 (HD 9575, Hopper 412-28) This will be the second meeting between the two teams. Last season, Mizzou dropped the contest against MSU, 61-56 in Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers will continue their series of ranked opponents, hosting No. 16 Vanderbilt on Thursday, Jan. 30, before heading to No. 10 South Carolina and No. 15 LSU. The Tigers are 0-2 against Vanderbilt, dropping two contests to the `Dores last season, the last coming in the SEC tournament. Missouri fell 53-40 to Vandy on March 7.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Bulldogs are 14-6 on the season and 1-5 in SEC play, riding a three game losing streak into Sunday's contest. MSU is led by junior Martha Alwal, who averaged 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. She ranks fourth in the league for her rebounding and second for her 54-percent shooting this season. She also averages 2.3 blocks per game, sitting second in the SEC.
LAST TIME OUT
The Tigers fell to No. 17 Texas A&M, 62-57 at the annual We Back Pat contest. Morgan Eye knocked down five three-pointers and led Mizzou with 19 points in the game. A total of 15 of Mizzou's 29 first half shots were three-pointers. This marks the 7th time Missouri has had half of their field goals be from beyond the arc in a single half this year. Senior Bri Kulas scored in double figures for the seventh consecutive game, finishing with 14, giving her a team leading 17th game this season. Eye is second on the team with 11 games in double figures after finishing with 19. The five-point loss is the closest loss Mizzou has had all season.
Texas A&M (#17/#15) was the fourth consecutive ranked opponent for the Tigers this season. Last season Missouri faced six total ranked teams during conference play, that number will certainly increase this year with No. 16 Vanderbilt, No. 10 South Carolina, No. 15 LSU and No. 11 Tennessee still left on the schedule. This is the first time in Coach Pingeton's career at Missouri that the Tigers have faced four consecutive ranked teams, they played three consecutive in her first season with Missouri.
With an 11-2 record in the non-conference, the Tigers gained momentum leading to conference play. Among Tiger victories this season, Mizzou is holding its opponents to just 59.7 points per game with an average scoring margin of +18.5 points. Mizzou averages 5.2 blocks per game in winning contests and also outrebounds opponents by almost seven rebounds per game. Proving that the Tigers unselfish strategy works, the Tigers average 18.6 assists per victory, eight more than opponents.
As the team, the Tigers aim for 80-percent free-throw shooting during practices and in games. Mizzou is now shooting 77-percent from the line this season, just under its season goal. That mark leads the SEC and checks in at No. 8 nationally. Eight players are shooting 70-percent or better and Mizzou's leader in total free throws - Bri Kulas - is arguably the team's top shooter from the line, checking in at 84.8-percent (84-of-99).
Speaking of free throws, Mizzou is very good from the free throw line in unfamiliar territory, shooting 86-percent from the charity stripe on the road. Kulas plays a big part of that percentage as she is shooting 90-percent from the line in road games this season (29-of-32).
In road games this season, the Tigers are sticking together. Mizzou assists on 67.5-percent of its field goals, and the Tigers are shooting 42.2-percent from distance in road games, better than their 38.9-percent season average.
The Tigers are holding SEC opponents to just 38.8-percent shooting this season, a statistic that sits third in the league.
Under fourth-year head coach Robin Pingeton, Mizzou is continuing to play great team basketball. That is evidenced by Mizzou's 16.7 assists per game (third in the SEC and 37th nationally) and its 1.1 assist/turnover ratio, which ranks third in the SEC and 50th nationally.
This season the Tigers are averaging 4.3 blocks per game, a number that ranks fourth in the SEC and 56th in the nation. The number is much improved from last season when the Tigers averaged 2.3 blocks per game. Freshman Jordan Frericks is dominating in this category, she leads the team with 32 blocks on the season, good for an average of 1.7 per game (fifth-best in the SEC).
The Tiger staff is stressing a defensive mindset this season, and Missouri's numbers are showing it. The Tigers are amongst leaders in the SEC (second) in defensive rebounding at 30.5 per game and the Tigers are third in the league in defensive rebounding percentage at 70.8-percent.
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