Tigers push past Bearcats in first exhibition

Pair of forwards each score 16 points in 79-53 win.
Freshman Jordan Frericks rises above Southwestern Baptist’s Mackenzie Skupa in the Tigers’ exhibition win Tuesday. Frericks scored 16 points in her first college appearance.

Racing up and down the court, Missouri ran away with its first exhibition game against Southwest Baptist on Tuesday, 79-53.

The Tigers didn’t have control from the start, though. The Bearcats and Missouri traded baskets early on, until the Tigers ran to lead 35-19 going into the second half.

Missouri played a 1-2-1 zone press most of the game, dropping into a man-to-man defense in the halfcourt. The strategy proved effective as the Tigers held the Bearcats to 27 percent shooting. SBU shot 11 percent from behind the three-point arc.

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said she wasn’t satisfied, though.

“I didn’t feel like our transition defense was where it needed to be,” she said. “I didn’t really like where our rotations were at defensively. We spent some time on it, but not quality time in practice. I think it’ll be good when we have a chance to break down those rotations.”

Pingeton said she also wasn’t satisfied with the Tigers’ rebounding. Southwest Baptist had 10 offensive boards, off of which they scored 10 points.

Senior forward Bri Kulas and freshman forward Jordan Frericks both led the Tigers in scoring, with 16 points each. Kulas shot just 4-12 from the field, while Frericks was 6-7.

Frericks wasn’t the only freshman to contribute for the Tigers. Forward Kayla McDowell added 11 points and four rebounds in just 13 minutes.

“I think both (Frericks and McDowell) specifically did a great job of just posting up and looking to the basket and looking to attack,” Kulas said.

Frericks said she was anxious heading into the game but settled in as time went on.

“I was nervous and excited all at the same time,” Frericks said. “But it was fun to go out there and have a game and get the nerves out.”

Despite the Tigers’ winning effort, Pingeton said there is much for Missouri to work on. Finding the issues and ironing out the kinks is why Mizzou plays exhibition games like these, she said.

“That’s exactly what exhibition games are all about,” Pingeton said.

The Tigers have one more exhibition game before the start of their regular season. They play Quincy University at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Mizzou Arena.

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