Posted: Dec 18, 2012 8:40 PM
COLUMBIA -- Junior Bri Kulas and sophomore Morgan Eye combined to score 34 points as the Mizzou women's basketball team used a dominating second half performance to pull away from Morgan State, 75-50, on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers led by just five at halftime, but used an 11-0 run to open the second half to pull away. Mizzou improves to 10-2 on the season with the win.
Aside from Kulas, who had 16 points in the win, the Tigers did what they do best on Tuesday: shoot the three-pointer. In fact, Mizzou buried a season-best 14 three-pointers as it marks the sixth straight game that the Tigers have made at least 10 3-pointers. In that span, Mizzou has been averaging 39 points per game from distance. It was Eye that led the way for the Tigers from distance as she went 6-of-14, finishing with a game-high 18 points. Defending SEC Freshman of the Week Maddie Stock nearly hit double-figures for the third straight game as she had nine points, all on 3-pointers as she finished 3-of-6 from deep in the win. 11 different Tigers scored while Kyley Simmons, who made her second straight start, tallied eight points and six assists in the win.
Kulas finished with game with 10 boards to go along with her 16 points, earning her second double-double of the season. She led a torrid rebounding pace in the second half as Mizzou out-rebounded the Lady Bears, 29-15, in the second half. Liz Smith finished with nine boards in the game. The Tigers held MSU to 26.7-percent shooting in the game, its second-best defensive effort of the season.
The Tigers used a barrage of 3-point attempts in the first half to build a 35-30 lead. Mizzou buried seven of its first 12 3-pointers in the first half, but missed its final seven, including on the final possession of the half. In fact, Mizzou missed its last nine shots from the floor in the first half as Morgan State hung around and trailed by just five points at intermission. Eight Tigers scored in the first half, led by Kulas who had seven points on 3-of-6 shooting. She also had a team-high five boards at the break.
After the intermission, Kulas continued her fine play as she scored seven points in the first four minutes of the half as the Tigers opened the second half on a 11-0 run, extending the advantage to 46-30. In fact, Morgan State did not score until the 15:33 mark and did not make a field goal until five minutes into the second half.
From there, Eye took over as she scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half, including four 3-pointers, going 4-of-7 from distance in the second half. The Tigers opened a 60-42 lead after Eye's fifth three-pointer of the night and took that lead into the under-eight timeout. The Tigers kept that 18-point lead at the under-four timeout and closed out the game from there. Mizzou is 6-0 on its current homestand and is now 9-0 on the season inside the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena. The Tigers average margin of victory over the six-game homestand is 30 points and Mizzou has averaged 89.1 ppg in that span.
Mizzou will be back in action on December 29 as Conference USA foe Memphis will pay a visit to Mizzou Arena. It will be the Tigers' final game of the calendar year and one of just two games remaining before the start of SEC play.