Missouri falls to Auburn 47–45 in its first game of the SEC tournament

After a missed layup with less than three seconds left, Missouri falls to 8–8 in conference play.

Following the team's 56-52 loss against Vanderbilt on Senior Day, freshman Sophie Cunningham huddles with her teammates in the middle of Mizzou Arena for the final time this season.

The last time Missouri played Auburn was the last time they won. However, a missed layup from freshman Cierra Porter as time expired sent the black and gold packing and headed back to Columbia.

The game against Auburn was not only a one-and-done determinant for moving on to the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament, but also one of the last chances Missouri had to prove itself worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid.

Unlike last time, the Tigers didn’t control the scoreboard. No one did, besides senior Morgan Stock, who at one point held half of her team’s points.

The back-and-forth battle between the eighth and ninth seeds saw a tied score practically the entire game. However, Auburn edged ahead by a handful of points at the tail end, and with 15 seconds left, Missouri trailed by two and had the ball. After winding down the clock with an attempted drive, the ball was knocked away from junior Jordan Frericks with 2.8 seconds left.

Following back-to-back timeouts, the players finally took the floor, their postseason fate resting on one final play — one failed play.

Fans and bench players panicked from afar, wondering if freshman Sophie Cunningham would get the ball in on time. She did, but freshman Cierra Porter missed the layup.

With a 47–45 loss, Missouri moves to 8–8 in SEC play, 21–8 overall. The Tigers have never won a game in the SEC Tournament. Missouri will find out whether its poor performances of late still merit an NCAA Tournament berth on Sunday, March 6.

At this point, Selection Sunday will be much more nerve-racking than anticipated and the players can’t count on getting in. But if they are in, they can certainly count on a tough road through the tourney.

Edited by Alec Lewis | alewis@themaneater.com

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