Missouri women's basketball remained unbeatable in Mizzou Arena with an 82-71 win over Tennessee-Martin on Monday. The victory improved the Tigers to 6-2 on the season and 5-0 in Columbia.
"It sure feels good to be back in the win column — I felt like there were a lot of positives tonight," coach Robin Pingeton said. "The lid finally came off the basket for us. I liked our focus and our energy. I was a little concerned coming out of the gates ... But I was really pleased with the way we took the court tonight."
As of late, Missouri has senior guard Sydney Crafton's play to thank for its hot streak in Columbia.
Crafton scored a career-high 29 points Thursday in the Tigers' 80-51 win over Southeast Missouri State. Crafton shot 11 of 13 and made two free throws in 23 minutes of playing time. In her past seven games in Columbia, she has accumulated 111 points but only has gotten 31 points in the last three away games.
The team must have an overall good game for the team to be consistent each night, Crafton said after the win over SEMO.
"I think we need to get more comfortable — we need to get in our rhythm," Crafton said. "It's hard for the defense, and we get our energy from our defense. Then we can carry that over to the offensive end."
Sophomore guard Morgan Eye has also been playing well recently. In the past few games, she has come out of her shell, becoming more and more like the leading returning scorer than she was last year for the Tigers. Though she struggled in the Cancun Challenge, as most of the other players on the team did, she caught fire on her 3-point shots against the Redhawks.
"Even if I'm missing, I'm still shooting," Eye said. "Otherwise I think I'm on the bench."
The Tigers have five straight home games during December. If the streak continues, the Tigers could find themselves 10-2 before hitting the road Dec. 29 for a game against Memphis.
The key to the team's ultimate success will be how well it does outside Columbia, Pingeton said after the SEMO win.
"These guys spent a lot of time together," Pingeton said. "I think that served its purpose. Just the experience of playing on the road, we have a young, inexperienced team, so to play on the road in a tough environment, I think we got our feet wet as to what that is going to be like, the focus that you have to have to play those teams."