Missouri honored it's seniors on Thursday against South Carolina.
March 2, 2013
Arena: Foster Auditorium (3,800)
Radio: KTGR 100.5/103.1 FM
MU: Robin Pingeton (St. Ambrose `90) 42-49 at MU (third season)
UA: Wendell Hudson (Alabama, 73), 67-85 at UA (fifth season)
TIGERS END REGULAR SEASON AT ALABAMA
The Tigers end their regular season at Alabama on Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest in Foster Auditorium. Missouri owns a 2-1 record against the Crimson Tide, with the last meeting coming on Nov. 24, 2006 at the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Tournament. Missouri earned a 78-70 win in the contest. Missouri last traveled to Alabama in 1981, to earn a 69-67 win over the Crimson Tide.
A LOOK AT ALABAMA
The Crimson Tide at 12-6 on the season, with two conference wins. Alabama earned a 61-51 win over Auburn in January and also topped Ole Miss, 83-75. Most recently, the Crimson Tide are riding a nine game losing streak and will see the Tigers after a 76-42 loss at LSU. Sophomore Daisha Simmons leads Alabama, averaging 12.3 points per game abd grabbing 4.5 rebounds. Shafontaye Myers is also scoring in double figures, averaging 11.3 points per game. Kaneisha Horn leads the Crimson Tide with an average of 5.5 rebounds per game, while Meghan Perkins also shines with a team-leading 36 blocks and 5.4 rebounds per game.
The SEC Tournament begins on March 6 with the #12 and #13 seeds competing at 6 p.m. There will be four games on Thursday, March 7 beginning with the #8 and #9 seets at noon. At 2:30 the winner of game one will play the #5 seed and seeds #10 and #7 will play at 6 p.m. The #11 seed will play the #6 seed at 8:30.
Missouri has had a better three-point shooting percentage than all but two of its conference opponents (Tennessee, Vanderbilt) going into their respective contests.
Mizzou's win over Florida on Jan. 31 marked the 14th win of the season, a feat that has not been accomplished by a Tiger team since the 2006-07 season when the team went 17-14 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. That season also marks the last time the Tigers had a winning season. In fact, Mizzou has as many home wins this season as it did wins last season (13).
Mizzou's win over Georgia guarantees that the Tigers will finish above .500 for the first time since 2006-07 and the first time that the Tiger will do so in the Robin Pingeton as the team continues to show progress under third-year head coach Rob Pingeton.
A win Sunday at Alabama and a win in the SEC Tournament would give the Tigers their most wins in a season since 2005-06 (18). A win on Sunday would also guarantee the Tigers their fewest losses in a season since 2006-07 (14).
The Tigers' 65-58 win over No. 14 South Carolina on Thursday marks their second win over a top-15 program this season. The last time Mizzou won a pair of games over top-15 competition was the 2000-01 season when Mizzou advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Mizzou defeated No. 12 Texas and No. 4 Georgia that season.
Bri Kulas has been on fire over her last three games, including a career-high 26 points in Mizzou's win over No.14 South Carolina Thursday. Over her last three games, Kulas is averaging 19.0 ppg on 48.6-percent shooting while connecting on 4-of-8 from distance and 19-of-24 free throws (79.2-percent). She is also pulling in seven boards per game in that span, a team-best.
Despite Kulas' heroics over the last three games, balanced scoring has also been a key for the Tigers. In fact, over the last three games, Mizzou has five players averaging double-figures while a fifth (Sydney Crafton) is just outside that mark at 9.0 ppg. Kulas (19.0 ppg), Liene Priede (10.3), Liz Smith (10.0) and Morgan Eye (10.) are the four averaging double-figures.
As her a career comes close to an end, senior forward Liene Priede is playing her best basketball as of late. Over her last three games, the senior is averaging 10.3 ppg, second-best on the team in that span, and poured in a career-best 18 points in the overtime loss to LSU, connecting on a career-high four 3-pointers in that game. The 18 points in that game were more than her previous three games combined. She hit double-figures for the second time in three games on Thursday against No. 14 South Carolina with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Bri Kulas is averaging a team-best 13.1 ppg in SEC play and 3.6 of those 13.1 ppg have come from the free throw line as she has shown great ability to get to the charity stripe in league play and hit the freebies when she is there. Kulas entered SEC play as just a 65.4-percent free throw shooter, but in SEC play, she is shooting a team-best 83.1-percent from the stripe, third-best in the SEC. She has raised her season average 10 points to 75.0-percent since SEC play started.
The Tigers continue to show improvement as a team under the direction of third-year head coach Robin Pingeton. In fact, if the season ended today, Mizzou would have an improved field goal percentage (.416), more rebounds per game (38.6), more points per game (66.0), more assists per game (15.3), fewer turnovers, more 3-point field goals and more steals. Mizzou is also on pace to outscore its opponents in a full season for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
The Tigers' win over No. 9 Tennessee marks the first time since Jan. 23, 2010 that a Mizzou team has defeated a top 10 opponent. In 2010 the Tigers knocked down No. 10 Baylor, 70-62.
The Tigers have now made a school-record 240 three-pointers this season. The previous record was set at 214 by last year's squad. The Tigers are just eight treys away from the SEC record which stands at 248, so Mizzou needs four 3-pointers per game over the next two to break that mark - it had three on Thursday against South Carolina on just seven attempts.
The Tigers have also run past the previous school record for most threes attempted in a season. The Tigers have attempted 718 treys this season to surpass the school record of 628 set last season.
Mizzou has made at least 13 3-pointers in six games this season, an SEC high this season as Mizzou owns the top six team 3-point shooting performances in the SEC this season. Morgan Eye owns two of the top individual three-point shooting performances in the league so far this season as well.
The Missouri Tigers are 14-4 inside Mizzou Arena this season. In fact Mizzou went on an 11-game home winning streak to open the season. The 11-0 start at home was the best since 2005-06 when the Tigers also 11 in a row at home to open the season. Their only home losses this season are to No. 6 Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi State and LSU.
Mizzou Notables at Home This Season
-Mizzou's average margin of victory at home is 13.6 ppg
-The Tigers are shooting a blistering 45.5-percent in home games this season and averaging 74.9 total ppg
-Mizzou has scored at least 80 points in eight of 14 home games this season and at least 90 in three of those
-The Tigers own a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio at home this season
-Mizzou is averaging 9.5 3-pointers per game at home this season.
-The Tigers have made 171 of their 457 three-pointers on their home court.
Despite having one of the smaller teams in the SEC, the Tiger have managed to put together a positive rebounding margin for the season, checking in at +1.2. In fact, Mizzou is a better rebounding team than a season ago despite losing a pair of senior post players in Christine Flores and BreAnna Brock. Mizzou out-rebounded a much bigger South Carolina team, 38-30, on Thursday.
The Tigers lead the SEC in defensive rebounding percentage (70.4) during all games this season and is second in defensive rebounds at 28.3 per game. Mizzou has given up the fourth-fewest offensive rebounds in the SEC this season (345) but has grabbed an SEC-best 820 defensive rebounds. Mizzou is one of just two SEC teams with at least 800 defensive rebounds.
The SEC record for 3-pointers in a season is 248, meaning the Tigers would need to make four 3-pointers per game to break that mark.
Morgan Eye's 168 career treys put her at No. 2 all-time on Missouri's career three-pointers made list. That trails Alyssa Hollins (226) who played four seasons under Cindy Stein. Eye's 168 in a two-year span is the best-two year span in Mizzou history, breaking Hollins' mark of 153 set in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Eye is averaging 84 3-pointers per season in her first two years as a Tiger.
The Tigers continue to play great team basketball under third-year head coach Robin Pingeton and the numbers prove it. Mizzou has assisted on 444 of their 689 field goals (64.4-percent), an SEC-best this season. The Tigers assisted on 23 of 29 field goals against Tennessee on Feb. 3.
Mizzou is fifth in the SEC, averaging 15.3 assists per game. Mizzou is also fourth in 3-point shooting percentage at 33.4-percent while attempting an SEC-high 718 3-pointers this season. In fact, only one other SEC team has attempted more than 600 3-pointers (Florida, 604) and Mizzou is one of just three SEC teams to attempt more than 500 3-pointers.
Mizzou has recorded more assists than 19 opponents in games this season, thanks in part to Lianna Doty who averages 4.7 assists per game.
Mizzou's bench has been a huge key to the success of the program this season. In fact, the Tiger bench is outscoring the opponents' bench by an average of 6.2 points per game while shooting 38-percent from the floor to its opponents' 36-percent. A big reason for the Tiger production off the bench has been its ability to knock down the trey as Mizzou's bench has hit 152 3-pointers to its opponents' 55.
Morgan Eye has knocked down 95 of Missouri's 151 treys off the bench, while Maddie Stock has also contributed to the number with 30 so far this season.
Mizzou hit a school-record 18 three-pointers against Auburn. The 18 three-pointers made by the Tigers in the contest are the most ever by an SEC school, shattering the previous best mark of 17 by Ole Miss.
Senior center Liz Smith has been a big part of the Tiger offense this season, and a big part of that is due to her increased efficiency. In fact, coming into the year Smith was just a 31.4-percent shooter and averaged a miniscule 1.5 ppg. This season, Smith has flipped the script and is shooting 52.8-percent from the floor while averaging 7.0 ppg. Her rebounding numbers are way up as well as she is grabbing 5.1 boards per game, up from just 3.5 a season ago.
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