Women’s basketball thrashes Ole Miss 100-65 on senior night

Sophie Cunningham’s 32-point outburst carried the Tigers to a 10th SEC win.
Freshman guard Jordan Roundtree, 2, freshman guard Jordan Chavis, 10, senior guard Lianna Doty, 1, and senior guard Lindsey Cunningham, 11, circle up during the home game facing Ole Miss.

Missouri women’s basketball (20-9, 10-5) came into senior night Thursday on a tear. The Tigers had won eight of their last 10 games and were riding a three-game winning streak.

The Tigers maintained dominance in a 100-65 dismantling of Ole Miss (16-12, 5-10) at Mizzou Arena. This is Missouri’s first back-to-back 20-win season with eight conference wins since the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons.

Sophie Cunningham was unstoppable, dropping a game-high 32 points on 11-for-13 shooting to go with four assists and two rebounds. The Tigers were deadly from deep, shooting 60.9 percent from behind the 3-point line, while holding Ole Miss to 35 percent from the field.

The three seniors honored, Lindsey Cunningham, Sierra Michaelis and Lianna Doty, also had impressive performances. Cunningham had 21 points and went 5-for-6 shooting from three, Michaelis led the Tigers in assists and rebounds with eight to go with 12 points and Doty became the second all-time leader in assists in Missouri women’s basketball history with her 171st career assist.

“That’s a kid that just works so hard, one of our hardest workers on the team,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “So fitting for [Doty] because even though she is a fierce competitor for us, she is also a kid that has a servant’s heart.”

Sophie Cunningham dominated the early part of the first quarter, scoring seven of Missouri’s first 12 points. The Tigers extended their lead to 24-13 at the end of the first, with Cunningham finishing with 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting. Lindsey Cunningham and Michaelis also contributed six points respectively.

Within the first minute of the second quarter, the Missouri lead had already ballooned to 16 points. From there, the rout continued; the Rebels finished the half making just one of their last eight field goals, shooting 28.1 percent from the floor. Sophie Cunningham finished the half with 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

“If you let Missouri work in a comfort zone they’re gonna beat anybody in this league,” Ole Miss coach Matt Insell said after the game.

Scoring was minimal in the early parts of the third quarter as the teams combined for nine turnovers and only 12 points over the first four minutes of play. However, Sophie Cunningham continued to shine, scoring six early points, handing Missouri a commanding 62-31 lead with 5:13 left.

Jordan Chavis’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just past the half-court line summed up the rest of the game. Missouri headed into the fourth up 75-43 and continued to pour it on the Rebels.

Missouri will play its final regular season game on Sunday in Tuscaloosa against Alabama. The Crimson Tide beat Missouri 59-58 on Jan. 8.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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