Stock watch: Missouri women's basketball upperclassmen step up
Women’s team continues to struggle with turnover-steal ratio while underclassmen take a backseat on offensive end.
Feb. 02, 2016
Over the past week, the Missouri women’s basketball team faced two unranked opponents in LSU and Ole Miss, the first week since conference play began that it didn’t see a top-25 team. The players took advantage.
Although Missouri won both matchups, its numbers for the games were not all positive. In fact, the players continued to struggle with two categories specifically.
Upperclassman step up: With the freshman starters’ lack of contribution, someone needed to step up so the team looked to its upperclassmen. Against LSU, senior Morgan Stock scored 12 points and redshirt junior Lindsey Cunningham added 16.
A few days after, senior Sierra Michaelis led the scoring with 20 points and junior Jordan Frericks with 17.
With competitive matchups against Georgia and No. 11 Mississippi State coming up this week, Mizzou will need that same production from its upperclassman.
Unity showing: Coming off of three straight wins, the Tigers are gelling at the right time, redshirt junior guard Lindsey Cunningham said.
"We just had to make sure we stuck together,” Cunningham said after the LSU game. “We kept saying they had their run, and it was time to respond. I think most important we stuck together and then we kind of got back to the game. But like she said, we kind of got away from it.”
Going forward against the likes of Georgia and Mississippi State, the Tigers will need to continue to come together heading towards tournament time.
Underclassmen’s struggle on offense: The attendants of the black and gold basketball games are used to hearing two new names. However, they’re echoed so often that they’re hardly new anymore; from the starting lineup to point announcements over the intercom, the fans constantly hear the names of freshmen Cierra Porter and Sophie Cunningham.
Despite the pair’s unarguable successful track record, as they’ve both taken home SEC Freshman of the Week awards (four for Cunningham), they haven’t received the same recognition over the past week. There’s a reason.
In the match against LSU, Porter sat out due to a slight ankle injury, leaving Cunningham as the lone freshman with a lone three pointer to contribute in her 28 minutes of play. Then when facing Ole Miss, the duo combined for only 17 points, a lower statistic compared to its usual high production.
Turnovers continue to be a problem: Although the team’s total increased from the shocking 30 TO’s from its Florida win a week earlier, its numbers still aren’t where they need to be.
Despite lowering the amount to 18, LSU still took advantage of those misplays, converting them into fast break points Missouri wanted back. The number only grew as the week went on, giving up 25 to Ole Miss in a 60-46 victory.