Tigers Open Exhibition Play Tuesday

MUTIGERS.COM RaeShara Brown and the Missouri women's basketball team hits the court for an exhibition contest against Missouri Western on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
RaeShara Brown and the Missouri women's basketball team hits the court for an exhibition contest against Missouri Western on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Nov. 1, 2010

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri women's basketball team hits the court for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 2 with a 7 p.m. exhibition contest against the Missouri Western Griffons at Mizzou Arena. The contest will mark the first game for the Tigers under first-year head coach Robin Pingeton, who spent the last seven seasons at the helm of Illinois State. Admission and parking to the contest are free.

Missouri continues exhibition play as the team hosts Oklahoma City University on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers officially open the 2010-11 season on Friday, Nov. 12 in a road contest at Memphis at 5 p.m. Mizzou then travels to Charleston, Ill., to face Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m.

The Griffons are coming off a 7-20 season a year ago and were chosen to finish 11th in the MIAA Preseason Coaches' Poll and 10th in the Media Poll.

Missouri Western returns 10 players from last year's team, including junior Jessica Koch, who led the squad with 14.3 ppg. and 7.2 rpg. last season. The Griffons also return senior Lauren Nolke and sophomore Kayla Vice, who averaged 8.9 ppg. and 8.5 ppg., respectively, in 2009-10. Nolke is a Columbia native and attended Hickman High School.

Head Coach Lynn Plett is in his fourth season at Missouri Western and has a 25-56 record with the squad.

Mizzou was selected to finish 11th in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the conference on Oct. 7. The coaches gave four Big 12 South Division schools the nod with the top-four spots, led by Baylor. The Lady Bears, who advanced to the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four, received 11 first-place votes to amass 121 points. Texas A&M captured the remaining first-place vote and totaled 109 points. The Aggies won the 2010 Big 12 Tournament title before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Oklahoma, which has made back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances, was the preseason pick to finish third, while Texas was picked fourth. The Longhorns advanced to the 2010 NCAA second round. Iowa State, which tied Oklahoma for second in the 2010 final Big 12 standings and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, was fifth, followed by Kansas and Nebraska.

Big 12 Preseason Poll
Team (First Place Votes)
1. Baylor (11)
2. Texas A&M (1)
3. Oklahoma
4. Texas
5. Iowa State
6. Kansas
7. Nebraska
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kansas State
10. Texas Tech
11. Missouri
12. Colorado

First-year Mizzou Head Coach Robin Pingeton makes her Missouri debut Tuesday against Missouri Western. Pingeton was hired to lead the Tiger program on April 8, 2010 after seven successful years at the head coach at Illinois State.

With the Redbirds, Pingeton amassed a 144-81 (.640) record and brought the Redbird program back to national prominence. During her tenure, she led the school to three straight Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season titles, two State Farm Missouri Valley Tournament championships, a school-best four straight 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament berths and three WNIT appearances en route to Missouri Valley Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2010. Over the past three seasons, Pingeton compiled an 81-23 (.779) mark to put together the best three-year span in Illinois State history.

Senior Shakara Jones enters the 2010-11 season with 907 points in her career, just 93 shy of the century mark. Assuming the forward accomplishes the feat this season, she will become just the 28th player in Mizzou history to score at least 1,000 points.

Jones has a 10.0 ppg. average in her three-year career, after posting marks of 10.5 ppg. as a freshman, 10.3 ppg. as a sophomore and 9.1 ppg. as a junior.

Junior RaeShara Brown has compiled 191 steals in three-year career and needs just 58 to move past former Tiger great Joni Davis to stand alone as MU's all-time steals leader. Her 191 steals currently rank eighth in the Tiger record book.

Brown has led the Big 12 in steals the last two seasons, after outputs of 88 a year ago and 79 during her sophomore season. The totals rank third and eighth in Mizzou's single-season list.

Redshirt junior Bekah Mills and junior Bailey Gee will see their first action on Thursday after recovering from knee injuries suffered last season.

Mills missed the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons to ACL injuries, suffering her last injury in the preseason last year. She played all but one game as a redshirt freshman in 2008-09 and posted 5.9 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 2.2 apg.

Gee tore her ACL in January 2010 after seeing action in eight games to start the year. She averaged 4.5 ppg. in 8.6 mpg. before the injury.

Missouri added four newcomers, including two Missouri natives, to its roster in 2019-11: freshmen Maggie Flynn, Tori Niemann, Paige Spietz and Kishaun Williams.

Flynn, who hails from Troy, Mo., comes to the Tigers after playing prep ball at Troy Buchanan High School. She recorded 1,334 points, 792 rebounds and 389 blocks in her prep career and holds Troy Buchanan records in career field goals made (529), blocks (389) and blocks in a game (13). Flynn earned spots on the 2009 and 2010 all-state teams and was the 2009 and 2010 Lincoln County Player of the Year.

Canton, Mo., native Tori Neimann helped Canton High School to a 25-7 record as a senior after averaging 23.2 ppg., 11.0 apg. and 3.5 spg. Neimann was an all-state first team selection as as senior and junior and earned a spot on the second team as a sophomore. She compiled averages of 19.2 ppg. and 9.1 rpg. in her career.

Spietz, a native of Brimfield, Ill., earned Associated Press, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Basketball Services and Champaign News-Gazette all-state first team honors in 2010. She averaged 17.8 ppg. 8.3 rpg. and 2.1 apg. as a senior and 19.1 ppg. and 7.8 rpg. in her career.

Williams comes to the Tigers after playing her prep basketball at Captial High School in her hometown of Baton Rouge, La. The guard averaged 18.0 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 5.0 spg. in her four-year career. As a senior year ago, Williams helped lead Capital to a 28-4 record after posting 22.0 ppg., 10.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 5.0 spg.

Missouri enters its game against Missouri Western on a 10-game winning streak in exhibition contests.

Last season Mizzou posted an 80-59 win over Central Missouri. Shakara Jones had 16 points while Kendra Frazier and BreAnna Brock had 12 and 10, respectively. Additionally, RaeShara Brown pulled down a team high six rebounds.

After two home exhibition contests at home, the Tigers hit the road for seven straight games away from Mizzou Arena to open the 2010-11 season. Missouri opens the year with away games at Memphis and Eastern Illinois, neutral site games against Tennessee, Georgetown and Georgia Tech in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands and two more road contests at Ball State and Northwestern before hosting a home game.

The Tigers finally open the home slate on Tuesday, Dec. 7 as the team hosts UT Martin at 7 p.m.

Mizzou faces a demanding schedule in 2010-11, a slate scattered with teams that made the postseason a year ago.

Overall, the Tigers will play two of last year's Final Four participants, Baylor and Oklahoma, two more teams who advanced to the Elite Eight, Florida State and Xavier, and nine other teams that earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament field. Mizzou also faces four schools that competed in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) a year ago. Overall, 20 of Mizzou's 30 regular season contests come against teams that reached the postseason in 2010-11.

Additionally, Missouri has 10 games scheduled against teams ranked in the top-20 of the preseason AP poll: Baylor (No. 2), Tennessee (No. 4), Xavier (No. 5), Texas A&M (No. 8), Oklahoma (No. 10), Georgetown (No. 13), Texas (No. 17), Florida State (No. 18) and Iowa State (No. 20).

The Tigers end the month of November by traveling to St. Thomas, USVI, to play in the Reef Division of the 11th annual Paradise Jam, held at the University of the Virgin Islands' U.V. I. Sports and Fitness Center in Charlotte Amalie.

Mizzou opens play on Thursday, Nov. 25 against No. 4 Tennessee, followed by games against No. 13 Georgetown and Georgia Tech on Friday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 27, respectively.

Junior RaeShara Brown was named to the All-Big 12 honorable mention team last season for her play during the 2009-10 year. The guard averaged a career high 9.7 ppg. to go along with 4.7 rpg., 3.2 spg. and 2.9 apg. In just Big 12 Conference games, she upped her scoring output to 10.7 ppg.

Missouri took care of the ball all last season, as the team ranked 13th in the nation with just 14.2 turnovers per contest. Overall during the year, Mizzou committed fewer turnovers than its opponents in 24 of 30 games. The Tigers committed just six turnovers in the team's loss to Iowa State on Feb. 7, which was a season low, besting the 10 given up against both Northern Iowa and the second meeting with Kansas.

The mark matched three other outputs of six turnovers for the Tigers since the 1992-93 season. The team committed just six against Nicholl's State on Dec. 11, 2005, Kansas on Feb. 7, 1999 and Kansas State on Jan. 10, 1993. You have to go all the way back to Jan. 30, 1988 for a lesser output, when the Tigers lost just four turnovers against Oklahoma State.

Mizzou enters the 2010-11 season with a five year winning streak of knocking off an opponent ranked in the top-25. The Tigers used a 65-61 win over defending national champion and No. 4 Baylor on Jan. 4, 2006 to start the trend and kept the streak alive with a 70-62 victory over No. 10 Baylor on Jan. 23, 2010. Below is complete streak:

2009-10: MU 70, #10 BU 62 (1/23/10) 2008-09: MU 52, #14 KSU 43 (2/18/09) 2007-08: MU 70, #11 OU 64, OT (3/11/08) 2006-07: MU 65, #19 NU 53 (2/17/07) 2005-06: MU 65, #4 BU 61 (1/4/06)



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