Tigers Open Season Sunday



Nov. 13, 2009

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri women's basketball team opens the 2009-10 season on Sunday, Nov. 15 as the squad hosts the Northern Iowa Panthers at 5 p.m. The Tigers own a perfect 4-0 record against the Panthers in the all-time series and earned a 89-77 win in the last meeting (Dec. 11, 2002). Missouri has a 27-8 record in season openers and an identical record in home openers.

The Tigers return to Mizzou Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 18 for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Memphis Tigers. Mizzou then travels to Bloomington, Ind., to face the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. CT.

The Panthers, who opened the regular season against North Dakota State on Friday, are coming off a 11-19 season in 2008-09, including a 9-9 mark in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.

Northern Iowa returns all five of its starters and 96 percent of its offense from a year ago. The Panthers are led by sophomore Kim Wypiszynski, who earned 2009 MVC Newcomer of the Year honors after averaging 13.0 ppg. and 5.0 rpg. as a freshman. Junior Lizzie Boeck and senior Nicole Clausen also averaged double figures a year ago, coming in at 10.4 ppg. and 10.1 ppg., respectively.

Head Coach Tanya Warren is in her third season with the Panthers and boasts a 24-37 mark at the school.

UNI Head Coach Tanya Warren is no stranger to Columbia and Missouri basketball. Warren spent three years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Cindy Stein from 2001-04. During that time, Warren helped bring former Tiger greats EeTisha Riddle and Carlynn Savant, among others, to attend Mizzou.

Missouri recorded a 80-59 win over Central Missouri in the team's lone exhibition contest on Sunday, Nov. 8. Four players scored in double figures for the Tigers, led by senior Amanda Hanneman, who had 20 points, including 18 in the first half. Junior Shakara Jones added 16 points and three assists while sophomore forwards Kendra Frazier and BreAnna Brock also scored in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Seniors Toy Richbow and Marissa Scott and junior RaeShara Brown all pulled down a team high six rebounds.JOHNSON NEARING CENTURY MARK
Senior Jessra Johnson enters the 2009-10 season with 902 points in her career, just 98 shy of the century mark. Assuming the forward accomplishes the feat this season, she will become just the 27th player in Mizzou history to score at least 1,000 points.




Johnson should also end her tiger career ranked in the top-10 in career rebounds as well. Currently sitting on 520 in her career, she needs 159 rebounds to pass Nikki Smith (1992-95) and move into 10th place on the all-time list.


Redshirt sophomore point guard Bekah Mills is forced to the sideline for the second time in three years after suffering an ACL injury during preseason practice. Mills also injured her right knee in 2007-08 and was forced to redshirt the season.




Last year during her redshirt freshman campaign, Mills started 24 of 29 games for the Tigers. She averaged 23 minutes per contest to go along with 5.9 ppg. 3.2 rpg. and 2.2 apg. Mills was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Week on Dec. 15 after averaging 14.5 ppg. and shooting 72.7 percent from the field in games against Bradley and UT Martin.


For the first time in three years Missouri has a senior class of more than one player. After a seven-member senior class in 2006-07, the Tigers lost just one player in each of the past two seasons.

The 2009-10 edition of the Tigers has four seniors on the roster: Amanda Hanneman, Jessra Johnson, Toy Richbow and Marissa Scott. With a total of four seniors and juniors on its roster, Missouri is one of the most experienced teams in the Big 12 this season.

Junior guard RaeShara Brown emerged as one of the Big 12 Conference's finest defensive players in 2008-09. The Little Rock, Ark., native swiped 79 steals in 30 games for an average of 2.6 spg., tops in the league. In just conference action Brown upped her steals numbers to 2.94 spg., tops in the league by .44.

Her 79 steals stand as the seventh-best single-season total in program history.

Two prep standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to enroll at the University of Missouri and play basketball, Head Coach Cindy Stein announced on Wednesday. The signing class includes Maggie Flynn, a 6-1 wing from Troy, Mo., and Paige Spietz, a 6-3 forward from Brimfield, Ill.

Under the direction of Coach Melanie Schmit at Troy Buchanon High School, Flynn averaged 18.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game during her junior season. Her efforts garnered her a spot on the 2009 Associated Press All-State squad and a place on the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Class 5 All-State second team in 2009. A standout volleyball player as well, Flynn was a All-District 9 second team honoree and a 2009 Academic All-State selection by the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association.

As a junior last season under Coach Jim Blane, Spietz helped lead Brimfield High School to a 33-3 record en route to a Class 1A Final Four appearance after averaging 17.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Following her junior campaign, she was named the Peoria Journal Star Small-School Player of the Year and earned spots on the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and Illinois Basketball Services first team and Associated Press second team. As a sophomore in 2007-09, Spietz was named to the Illinois Basketball Services third team after averaging 19.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest. A three-time all-conference selection on the hardwood, Spietz also plays volleyball at Brimfield and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society.


After relying on underclassmen the past few seasons, the Tigers return 12 members of last year's squad.

• Senior Jessra Johnson started 25 games last season and led the team with 6.9 rpg. and was second on the squad with 13.0 ppg.
• Junior Shakara Jones has started since she came to Mizzou and averaged 10.3 ppg., 4.3 rpg. and shot 50.4 percent from the floor a season ago.
• Senior Toy Richbow returns to the starting lineup this year after coming off the bench most of last season. Richbow, who started 28 of 31 games as a sophomore, gives the Tigers an experienced point guard despite the loss of Bekah Mills.
• Junior RaeShara Brown started 28 of Mizzou's 30 games last year as she became one of the conference's top defensive players. Brown averaged a league-leading 2.6 spg. to go along with 6.0 ppg. a season ago.
• Finally healthy after an injury-plagued career, senior Amanda Hanneman will be looked on to add a scoring punch this season. A sharpshooter from behind the arc, Hanneman shot 41.4 percent from three as a sophomore in 2007-08.
• Senior Marissa Scott has started 25 of 57 games over the past two seasons. An unselfish player who plays great defense, Scott should see her numbers rise as a senior.
• Junior Jasmyn Otote is also a sharpshooter from the three-point line. After playing in only 16 games as a sophomore, Otote has entered this season in the best shape of her career and looks to make an important impact this year.

Mizzou was picked 12th in the Preseason Coaches Poll, released by the conference on Oct. 15. Baylor was selected to win the title, followed by Kansas and Texas. 



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