Garrett Bridges, 23 Sports

Tiger fans got to see the Mizzou Women’s basketball team play their second and final exhibition game as they hosted Washburn University Thursday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers won, 74-59.

Tiger fans got to see the Mizzou Women’s basketball team play their second and final exhibition game as they hosted the Washburn University Ichabods Thursday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers won, 74-59.

The Tigers struggled most of the game against the Division II foe, their second straight game with sloppy play issues. Against Washburn, the Tigers had 19 turnovers, bringing their average to an unacceptable 18 a game.

Mizzou got off to a fairly slow start in the first quarter, only scoring 14 points. Luckily for Missouri, the Ichabods struggled more, scoring only 10. In the second quarter, though, the Ichabods outscored Missouri 19-14 to take a surprising 29-28 lead into halftime.

Even into the third quarter Washburn stayed with the Tigers. A free throw made by Washburn gave them a one-point lead, 42-41. But then, the momentum would swing to Mizzou, as they took the lead on two free throws by Sophie Cunningham. They would never relinquish the lead for the rest of the game, finishing the third quarter on a 10-2 run. The lead would balloon in the 4th quarter to 18 points, as Akira Levy and Amber Smith dominated on both sides of the ball.

Mizzou played the 4th quarter like they need to play all year, making shots and playing good defense with a controlled, up-tempo attack on offense.

Sophie Cunningham starred for Mizzou yet again, as “The Mayor of Columbia” had 22 points and eight rebounds, including many timely threes, including one that beat the third quarter buzzer. Freshman Akira Levy didn’t start at point guard, but was dominant at certain points of the second half tallying 10 points, four steals, and three assists. Amber Smith had another great night, adding 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The starting five was a little different this game, as Lauren Aldridge started at point guard, Jordan Roundtree at shooting guard, Amber Smith at small forward, Sophie Cunningham at power forward, and Emmanuelle Tahane at center.

Hannah Schuchts was held out of this game as a precautionary measure after spraining her ankle against Missouri Western. However, she gave me good news Thursday, before the game telling me she’s fine, and that she is very likely to play in the regular season opener.

The Tigers are done with exhibition play. They start the regular season next Tuesday at Western Illinois.