Tigers fall to Washington in Preseason WNIT Semi-Final, 79-66
The Tigers hung with the Huskies for a majority of the game, but ultimately, Washington’s talent and experience won out.
Nov. 17, 2016
Mizzou Women’s Basketball traveled to Seattle Thursday night to face the No. 17 ranked Washington Huskies for a chance to advance to the Preseason WNIT championship.
In their first matchup with a ranked opponent, the young Tigers remained poised and composed, sticking with the Huskies for much of the game. Ultimately, Washington’s talent and experience won out, and the Huskies knocked off Mizzou 79-66.
Just eight months removed from a Final Four appearance, the Huskies posed a difficult, early-season test for the Tigers. But after opening the season with consecutive wins, the Tigers were confident as they headed north to face one of the nation’s strongest teams.
That confidence showed immediately as the Tigers jumped out to an early 26-21 in the first quarter. An 8-2 run late in the quarter put Mizzou in front with the help of strong transition basketball from the Tigers.
Washington responded right away, outscoring the Tigers 25-13 in the second quarter. From there, Washington never took its foot off the gas.
The Huskies’ lead only grew, aided by a series of big scoring runs. The second half saw the Tigers make several attempts to come back, but each came up short.
The young squad got a strong look at what a polished and experienced team really looks like, and a sense of something to work toward as the season progresses.
Here are a few takeaways from the game:
Hannah Schuchts Continues to Impress After beginning the season nursing a hamstring injury, Hannah Schuchts has emerged as one of the Tigers’ most efficient and versatile players.
On the road Thursday, the redshirt freshman scored 12 points on 6-9 shooting, paired with seven rebounds. Her scoring boost is a welcome contribution on an injury-laden team that is searching for scoring alternatives. Sustained production from Schuchts would lessen the scoring burden that currently relies heavily upon Sophie Cunningham and Cierra Porter.
Improvement on the Offensive Boards It appeared as though keeping opponents off the offensive glass would be a major issue for Mizzou this season after giving up a combined 29 offensive rebounds over their first two games.
The Tigers turned it around Thursday night, holding Washington to just seven offensive boards. With forwards Jordan Frericks and Bri Porter currently out, rebounding will likely remain an issue, but there were major signs of improvement on the boards for the Tigers in Seattle.
Cierra Porter Shines Again Cierra Porter came out strong once again, leading the Tigers in scoring with 16 points.
Through three games, the sophomore forward is averaging 15.6 points per game, with 8.3 rebounds per game to go with it. Despite playing with the lingering effects of a foot surgery, Porter has looked more comfortable on the court this season, and the year of experience under her belt is truly beginning to show. Her continued improvement is imperative to the success of this Tigers team.
The Tigers’ next game is on Tuesday, Nov. 22 against Indiana State at 7:00 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
Edited by Tyler Kraft | firstname.lastname@example.org