Tigers women’s basketball out-scraps in-state rival St. Louis for 70-58 home win

Porter posts one of her best stat lines to date in the Mizzou win.
Missouri Tiger freshman Cierra Porter blocks out her Florida Gator opponent as Florida's Tyshara Fleming shoots a free throw.

It was a night of hard-fought basketball at Mizzou Arena on Friday with in-state rival Saint Louis in Columbia to take on the Tigers.

Mizzou women’s basketball held off the Billikens by a score of 70-58, but the Tigers didn’t come by their win without a fight.

Eight total players had at least four fouls by the end of the night; six for the Billikens – Jordyn Frantz, Tara Dusharm, Aaliyah Covington, Jenny Vliet, Kerri McMahan and Maddison Gits — and two for the Tigers — Jordan Frericks and Cierra Porter.

While Porter may have found herself in foul trouble late, she was the most impressive part of the Tigers’ win and posted one of the best stat lines of her career: 23 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. It was her 16th career double-double.

SLU head coach Lisa Stone, who played with Porter’s mother, Lisa Becker, at Iowa, had nothing but praise for Porter and her family after the game.

“I wish they were seniors, but they’re not,” Stone joked about the Porter sisters. “They’re kids who grew up in a basketball family, but more importantly, they’re just wonderful people. The whole family I mean. [The Porter sisters are] so skilled. Great hands, great feet, post well. They have a plethora of moves, they can step out for a three-point shot. Just very hard to guard.”

Porter, however, was not the only Tiger with a double-double. Sophie Cunningham finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as well as four assists. Sophomore Amber Smith also added 13 points for the Tigers.

Mizzou’s performance was another which came together late, mainly in the final quarter of play. After a layup from Smith with 5:05 left, the Tigers took a two-point lead and held on for the win.

Mizzou head coach Robin Pingeton said she was proud of the way her team battled and “stayed the course,” especially in the final quarter.

“It was a hard-fought ball game,” Pingeton said. “I’m really proud of our girls. On a night that not too much was going well for us, we just stayed the course and obviously finished really strong in that fourth quarter. I think if we hit a couple more threes early, maybe it opens up things a little bit. We did a really nice job in that fourth quarter of just going high-low and getting that ball inside.”

As a team, Mizzou made 53.3 percent of its shots in the fourth quarter and was 15 of 16 from the line. The Tigers also had 11 second-chance points in the fourth quarter, and Porter scored 13 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter.

With a productive final quarter from the line and a game which ended with the Tigers shooting 80 percent from the line, coach Pingeton said those are the kind of results her team looks for every game.

“Every game we talk about being an inside-out team,” Pingeton said. “Attack, get to the free-throw line and convert. We’re a team that definitely likes to shoot the 3, and I think we shoot the 3-ball really well. Tonight, obviously, we had a hard time getting them to fall, but we think we’ve got a great post presence and so our mentality night in night out is always about being inside out.”

The hot quarter was quite a turnaround from the rest of the game, as Mizzou ended the night shooting 39 percent from the field and just 9 percent from beyond the arc.

“I think we just had a hard time getting anything going inside,” Pingeton said. “I thought we were more relentless with it in the second half and really intentional about and really got some good looks inside.

Mizzou’s next game is against Southern Illinois University on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT at Mizzou Arena.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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