In its first exhibition game last week, Missouri rode senior guard Sydney Crafton’s 28 points to a win over Lincoln. On Tuesday night against Lindenwood in the team’s exhibition finale, no such hero was needed.
The Tigers had three players score over 11 points, with freshman guard Maddie Stock leading the way with 19 points on 7 for 13 shooting. The balanced attack led to Missouri cruising to an easy 88-46 win.
“These stats don’t surprise me offensively; we’ve got a lot of different weapons, a lot of kids that shoot the ball extremely well,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “That’s been pretty consistent with what we’ve seen in practice.”
With Pingeton putting in as many as five new players at a time against Lincoln in the first exhibition, Missouri’s rotations resembled hockey line changes more than a normal basketball rotation. On Tuesday, Pingeton played a lineup that looked similar to something Tiger fans might see in the regular season.
“I thought we saw some improvement from our first exhibition game,” Pingeton said. “We talked about that first game being really hard with regards to the way that we were rotating and being able to get into a flow really on the offensive or defensive end. We talked as a team going into tonight’s game where we’re going to rotate and simulate more of a game rotation, and so I think our girls got a little more comfortable out there.”
Pingeton said that the rotations against Lincoln were made to get everyone in for a game situation and to calm some nerves. Stock said she was less nervous her second time out, and her numbers showed it. She nearly doubled her point total, jumping from 10 to 19 points.
“I would say the first game, I was a little nervous, but today, I was more comfortable,” Stock said.
After playing 28 minutes, freshman guard Lianna Doty appeared to be part of Pingeton’s more game-like rotation. Doty took advantage of the extra playing time, scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing out five assists, and thieving seven steals.
Doty’s seven steals along with the rest of Missouri’s stifling defense caused Lindenwood to turn the ball over 32 times and the Tigers capitalized, scoring 43 points off of those turnovers.
“It comes down to team defense,” Doty said. “If it was just me out there, I wouldn’t be able to get those steals. Really a steal for any of us is a steal for the team because everybody has to be in position, everybody has to work hard, pressure the ball. It comes from everybody on the court.”
The Tigers look to take the success they’ve enjoyed during the exhibition schedule into the regular season. Missouri hosts Saint Louis for the regular season tipoff Saturday.