Lady Tigers Upset South Carolina on Senior Night

Thursday, Feb. 28-

The Missouri women’s basketball seniors closed out their Mizzou Arena careers in style with a 65-58 upset win over No. 14 South Carolina.

However, it was not a senior who stole the show, but rather junior Bri Kulas. The juco transfer scored 26 points and pulled down 12 boards. Kulas shot 8-16 from the field, but she killed the Gamecocks from the free throw line, knocking down 10 of 13.

Senior Sydney Crafton accounted for 11 points in the final home game of her Tiger career.

Liene Priede (10 points) and Liz Smith (eight points and five rebounds) put together solid outings for their last performance in Columbia, Mo.

Although nationally ranked South Carolina was hyped for its size, Mizzou was up for the challenge and actually outrebounded the Gamecocks 38-30. Furthermore, the smaller Tigers owned the points in the paint, dominating South Carolina 34-14.

The Missouri defense held the visitors to shooting only 20-61 from the field, including 7-23 from the three-point arc.

The night began back-and-forth, and it was evident that the Tigers were not intimidated by the quality of opponent. Mizzou stretched a late first half lead to 20-13 after Priede knocked down a trey.

Missouri shot an incredible 12-19 from the floor in the opening period, good for 63.2 percent. South Carolina cut into the lead, and the Tigers took a slim 28-26 advantage into the half.

Although the Gamecocks narrowed the deficit to one point after the break, Missouri never let the visitors any closer. Kulas was active on both ends of the floor, converting a layup, dishing out an assist and then knocking down her free throws.

Whenever the Gamecocks threatened, they were always met with a Mizzou counterpunch. Threes by Morgan Eye and Sydney Crafton stopped South Carolina momentum on consecutive scores, and the Tigers kept the Gamecocks out of arms reach down the stretch.

Missouri ended its home season finishing 14-4 at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers improved to 16-13 (5-10) overall, and will close out their regular season against the Crimson Tide at 3 p.m. Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

-Gregory Dailey
Staff Writer