The Missouri Tigers closed out their preseason Tuesday with a 71-42 win over Quincy (Illinois). Sophomore guard Maddie Stock led the Tigers with 12 points off the bench, all coming on three-pointers. Senior forward Bri Kulas chipped in 11 points in the victory.
The Tigers started the game off with poor shooting from the field, going 1-9 during the game’s opening minutes. The team’s offense finally got going, responding to the Lady Hawks with an 11-0 run highlighted by a three from sophomore guard Morgan Stock just seconds after she checked into the game.
“Out of the gates I feel like we struggled a little bit,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “We had some really good looks and weren’t able to knock them down, and I think that impacted our defensive intensity. We allowed our offense to dictate our defense.”
Once the Tigers offense started to get in sync, the team was able to jump out to a 16-8 lead thanks to some balanced scoring by a plethora of players. Out of the ten players that saw the floor in the first half, eight had scored for Missouri before halftime.
Three of the Tigers newcomers made their presence on the court known in the first half with redshirt freshman Lindsey Cunningham, freshman forward Kayla McDowell and freshman forward Jordan Frericks all contributing on the court.
Cunningham, a Columbia native showed her hustle chasing down loose balls while Frericks and McDowell combined for 11 first half points. McDowell also hit the boards for the Tigers pulling down game high 10 rebounds.
“Both her (Kayla) and Jordan can go get rebounds on both ends of the floor,” Pingeton said of her freshmen. “That’s definitely going to be an added bonus for us this season.”
The Lady Hawks were able to keep pace with the Tigers into the early into the second half, using their perimeter shooting to try and crack the Tigers tough 2-3 zone. Quincy forward Kara Gerbus’ three early into the second half helped cut the Tigers lead to two possessions but a Maddie Stock three pointer to respond helped give the Tigers a comfortable lead they would not relinquish.
Following Gerbus’ basket, the Tigers would hold the Lady Hawks scoreless for eight full minutes until Hannah Weedman snapped the streak with just over ten minutes left in the game.
The Stock sisters ended up going 6-13 from beyond the arc in the game, something Maddie thinks is a result of the team’s extra work in practice this week.
“This past week we really just got in the gym and worked on our shots and I think it showed in the game tonight,” Stock said.
Kulas would leave the game in the final ten minutes with a hand injury but it looks like it will she will be able to play in Friday’s regular season opener, Pingeton said.
“I think she just got her fingers bent back but my understanding is she’s fine,” Pingeton said.
Bettencourt led the Lady Hawks in scoring with nine points.