Tigers getting help off the bench

Missouri’s reserves are putting up the points.
LeeAnn Elias / Graphic Designer

The Missouri women’s basketball team defeated Murray State 71-32 on Sunday at Mizzou Arena, as sophomore center Christine Flores led all scorers with 16 points and also had seven blocks, tying a school record.

Flores also pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds during the game. Junior guard RaeShara Brown contributed 11 points and led the team with five steals.

“Christine is getting in better shape,” coach Cindy Stein said. “I think she’s going to be a great player here. She can do so many things.”

Flores said she was nervous before the game began.

“I’ve never started at Mizzou Arena, so it was a big deal for me,” Flores said. “I knew I needed to be solid and move my feet on defense.”

Flores’ recent increased production comes directly from the amount of playing time she and other primarily bench players have received recently. During Missouri’s game against Texas Pan-American on Dec. 10, the bench outscored its opponents by 20 points, scoring 54 of Missouri’s 83 points. Seven of eight players scored coming off of the bench.

Sophomore guard Bailey Gee had a career-high 14 points, which came from making seven out of nine shots attempted, and played a season-high 19 minutes. Flores also added 14 points, and sophomore forward BreAnna Brock notched a career-high eight points. Sophomore center Kendra Frazier also had a career night, scoring seven points. Frazier went on to set a new career high, scoring eight points in 11 minutes and also pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds as well.

“We all know our job is to work together as a team,” senior guard Toy Richbow said. “At the end of the day, everything will come out well.”

Missouri continued this trend against Murray State, with the bench scoring 28 points, almost matching the total points scored by its opponents. Freshmen guards Sydney Crafton and Trenee Thornton also saw action for the second-straight game, with Crafton scoring two points and pulling down a rebound and Thornton also getting one rebound. Every player who dressed for the game also received playing minutes for the second-straight game.

With seniors forwards Amanda Hanneman and Jessra Johnson suspended indefinitely from the team due to off-court problems, other members of the team will have to step up as the Big 12 regular season draws closer. During the game against Murray State, Flores and Scott were named as starters along with Brown, Richbow and junior forward Shakara Jones, and both performed well.

“That’s a good group that got the opportunity to play together quite a bit,” Stein said. “They’re a very good defensive group, and that’s how we wanted to set the tone for the game. I think when you lose your two leading scorers, someone’s got to pick up that pace. I think they knew they needed to step up as a group together. Not one individual can do it, but we can do it together.”

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