Missouri WBB off to Hot Start

Dalton Hackett, 23 Sports

The No. 16 Missouri Women’s Basketball team defeated Southwest Baptist, 77-55, in the first exhibition game of the 2017-18 season Thursday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia Missouri.

The Tigers dominated for most of the game, leading for 37 of the 40 minutes while shooting 50 percent from the field. They controlled the paint, scoring 60 percent of their points there. On the defensive end, they allowed only 16 points in the paint. The Tigers also dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing a total of 46. The success immediate for the Tigers, who went on an offensive surge out of the gate, shooting 50 percent from three and ending the first quarter on a 10-2 run to capture a 24-13 lead. In the second quarter, the Tigers got their defense rolling, forcing six turnovers in the first five minutes and went to the half with a 47-26 lead.

The stars of the night for Missouri senior forwards Jordan Frericks (Quincy, Ill.) and Kayla Michael (Cincinnati, Oh.), and junior forward Cierra Porter (Columbia, Mo.). Firebricks, in her first action since the 2016-17 season, led all scorers with 13 points on six-of-eight shooting and pulled down six rebounds. She was a presence on defense as well, gathering three steals. Michael pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds while shooting an efficient four-of-five for nine points. Porter recorded a double-double getting 10 points and 10 rebounds; she led the team last season in double-doubles with 12. Another notable performance was newcomer Lauren Aldridge (Marshfield, Mo.) stroking three-of-four threes and scoring nine points in the game. Aldridge transferred from Kansas and hit 36 percent from long range in the 2015-16 season.

The Women’s Basketball team will play one more exhibition game against McKendree before starting the regular season. The game will take place Monday, November 6 at 7 P.M. at Mizzou Arena.