Jaelin White, 23 Sports

Sunday, January 1—

Mizzou’s women’s basketball team played the Georgia Bulldogs at home to kickoff SEC play Sunday. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 63-45 to improve their record to 11-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

Two Tigers recorded double-digit points. Sierra Michaelis and Cierra Porter both finished the night with 20 points. Michaelis also had three rebounds and three steals, while Porter had 12 rebounds. This marks the seventh double-double by Porter for the year. Guard Sophie Cunningham was a large contributor as well with nine points, nine rebounds and three assists.

The game went back and forth in the first few minutes. Michaelis led Mizzou early with eight points, two steals, an assist and a rebound. Porter followed Michaelis’ energy by adding six points to Mizzou’s score. The Tigers’ defense held the Bulldogs from scoring any additional points in the last three minutes of the quarter. The first quarter ended with Mizzou up 19-11.

Early in the second, Georgia took the lead for the first time in the game. However, Mizzou’s fought back to grab the lead, feeding off the energy of a layup by Lindsey Cunningham along with her assist to Hannah Schuchts on the following play.

Georgia tied the game up at 29 apiece, but that didn’t stop Sophie Cunningham from finishing strong at the basket to give Mizzou a 33-29 lead going into halftime.

Things heated up quickly in the third for Michaelis, which helped the Tigers extend their lead. She outscored the Bulldogs by herself, 12-6. Yet, the Tigers’ defense also pushed them farther ahead. By the end of the third quarter, the team had only allowed one field goal. Mizzou went into the final frame with a 51-35 lead.

As the fourth quarter was underway, Georgia got hot and went on a 10-0 run which cut Mizzou’s lead to seven. Within the final minutes of play, Porter consistently received the ball in the paint. This led to her getting to the free throw line and knocking down two clutch shots, along with a layup within the closing minute to lead the Tigers to a victory.

Mizzou plays next at Kentucky to continue SEC play Thursday, Jan. 5. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Central Time at Rupp Arena. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.