Photo courtesy of Emil Lippe/The Maneater
Jameshia Sumlin, 23 Sports Reporter
The Missouri Tigers will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a thrilling 66-64 victory over 11-seed South Florida. Senior Sierra Michaelis came in clutch with a game winning basket with only 0.6 seconds left in the game.
Michaelis scored a team-high 16 points. On top of that, she had nine rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Cierra Porter locked in her team-best 12th double-double of the season with a total of 11 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Lindsey Cunningham and sophomore Sophie Cunningham put up 13 and 12 points, respectively, all together giving Mizzou the final upper hand.
Mizzou lacked momentum going into halftime, as the score was 38-25. However, in the second half, the Tigers showed their stripes when they outscored the Bulls 46-31 and shot 48.8 percent from the field. This became the largest halftime deficit Mizzou has eliminated this season.
Michaelis began to take over in the final frame of the game, scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter. Michaelis’ domination brought the Tigers ahead after Mizzou being down 53-52.
Mizzou’s lead increased to 62-56., but South Florida wasn’t going down so easily as they Bulls scored a total of four consecutive free throws. The nail-biting portion of the game began as the Bulls eliminated the Tigers’ lead, tying the game 63-63 with only three seconds remaining. The victory was up for grabs for either team at this point and Mizzou grabbed it as Michaelis’ buzzer-beating layup sent the Tigers into Sunday’s second round.
Mizzou will play against Florida State on Sunday. The time is yet to be determined.