The Missouri Tigers (3-0) had little trouble taking care of business Thursday night, cruising to a 78-43 win over Evansville (1-2). Senior forward Bri Kulas led the Tigers with 16 points, nine of which came in the first half. Freshman forward Jordan Frericks scored her first career double-double finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“The thing that stood out to me the most was how unselfish we were on offense,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “It’s a huge compliment to these young ladies on how unselfish they played.”
The Tigers dominated the first half with Kulas opening the game on fire. Kulas scored nine points in the game’s first four minutes to give the Tigers an early lead. Pingeton’s squad then utilized good ball movement to pick up where Kulas left off and go on a 16-4 run following Kulas’ run.
“I just had the mindset that I was going to attack the basket,” Kulas said. “Whenever I was able to shoot the 3 I had the confidence in my shot.”
Thanks to strong guard play from junior Morgan Eye and sophomore Lianna Doty, Missouri was able to get the 16 points on that run from all over floor, with Frericks scoring in the paint and sophomore guard Morgan Stock hitting shots from behind the arc.
“We have so much added depth this year and I think our post play has so much potential,” Pingeton said. “I think the way teams are going to guard us is by trying to take away the 3. But tonight it seemed like we had things going on both ends.”
The Tigers were able to pull away from the Aces early and go into halftime with a 38-23 lead.
The Tigers kept their strong offensive performance going into the second half, starting the half off on a 10-3 run with Kulas scoring seven more points. The Tigers’ guards also fed Frericks in the post.
“I thought she rebounded the ball really well tonight,” Pingteon said of Frericks. “Our freshmen post players are going to get better as the season goes on.”
Freshman guard Sierra Michaelis scored 10 points off the bench in just 10 minutes, which proved to Pingeton that the freshman has taken a step forward this season.
“Good for Sierra, because it is such a tough adjustment from high school to college,” Pingeton said. “It was really exciting to see her have the game she did tonight.”
Stock finished the game with 15 points, hitting five of the Tigers 15 3-pointers in the game. Freshman guard Sara Dickey led the Aces with 16 points in the loss.
The Tigers will play Southeastern Missouri at home Nov. 21 before hitting the road for a Saturday matinee against Tennessee-Martin. Thursday’s game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.