Ryan Crothers, 23 Sports

For the very first time in program history, the Missouri Tigers women’s basketball will be advancing to the semi-final of the SEC Tournament after a huge 70-68 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. In an overtime thriller, Missouri held on at the final buzzer to surpass No. 13 Kentucky and move on.

The Tigers had a solid first quarter, taking a 15-7 lead after one. But the two teams had an even second, Kentucky outscored Mizzou by two in the third, and by six in the fourth to take the game to overtime.

Sophie Cunningham drilled one of two free throws with six seconds left in overtime to give Missouri a two point lead. Then Kentucky ran down the court and had a great look at the game winning three. It looked like it had a solid chance of going in, but the shot missed as we then saw the whole Tiger team go crazy celebrating Mizzou history.

Sophie Cunningham dominated this entire game. She put up 29 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in one of her most impressive games this season. She led the way in overtime as well, scoring seven of Missouri’s 11 points in the extra period. Alongside Cunningham leading the way, Amber Smith also had a really good game and was crucial to the Tigers’ win. Smith totalled 12 points, seven rebounds (including two offensive rebounds), one assist, one steal, and two blocks. The Tigers needed to rely on Cunningham and Smith as well as the fluidity of Lauren Aldridge to overcome the Wildcats and win, despite Senior Cierra Porter not putting up big numbers like Missouri is used to.

Saturday the Missouri Tigers will clash with the No. 5 team in the nation, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, at 4PM on ESPNU. The winner will go on to the SEC Women’s
Tournament final and play the winner of Arkansas and Texas A&M.