The Maneater

Tigers beat Nebraska to advance to Preseason WNIT semifinals

After a tight win Friday, the Tigers headed to Lincoln to renew an old rivalry with the Huskers.

Freshman forward Hannah Schuchts, 13, boxes out Nebraska sophomore forward Darrien Washington, 50, during the Tigers’ game at the University of Nebraska. Courtesy of Karissa Schmidt

Missouri women’s basketball bounced back with a 55-35 win over Nebraska on Monday after a mixed season opener last week.

Friday night’s opener against the Abilene Christian Wildcats proved to be more of a challenge than expected for Missouri in round one of the Preseason WNIT. The Wildcats played the Tigers wire-to-wire at Mizzou Arena in what was ultimately a 52-46 Mizzou win.

For their second-round matchup, the Tigers headed to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Monday night to renew an old Big 12 rivalry against the Nebraska Huskers.

After a slow start in the opener, the Tigers came out roaring against the Huskers, jumping out to a 21-9 lead, highlighted by a 14-0 Mizzou run that spanned the first and second quarters. The Tigers never relinquished that early lead and went on to win.

Sophomore guard Sophie Cunningham led the way, scoring 18 points on the night to go along with 10 rebounds. Senior guard Sierra Michaelis scored 17 points herself, while forward Cierra Porter posted her second-straight double-double.

Overall the Tigers were far more crisp Monday night than they had been against Abilene Christian.

Here are some takeaways:

The defense was strong:

The Tigers defense was strong against Huskers, holding Nebraska to 35 points, the fewest the Huskers have scored in a game as an NCAA program. The Tigers defense also forced 10 turnovers and held the Huskers to 15.9 percent shooting from the field. The defensive cohesion coach Robin Pingeton discussed during the preseason is becoming more and more visible with each game.

Poor shooting from deep:

Three-point shooting was once again a struggle for Mizzou. Against Nebraska, the Tigers shot 24 percent from behind the arc.

Over two games, the Tigers have shot a paltry 18.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, hitting just six 3s against the Huskers. Without the inside presence of forward Jordan Frericks, the Tigers must rely more heavily on the 3-point shot, and such low 3-point percentages are a concern.

Sierra Michaelis finding her touch from downtown:

Despite the team wide 3-point shooting struggles, Sierra Michaelis is coming into her own from deep. On Monday night, Michaelis hit four 3s to account for two-thirds of the team’s three-pointers made. Her development as a shooter could provide aid to the woeful 3-point shooting the Tigers have shown thus far.

Up next:

The Tigers will face Washington on Friday in the Preseason WNIT Semifinals.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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