Posted: Mar 3, 2013 3:38 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2013 11:35 PM
TUSCALOOSA, AL - Missouri Women's Basketball will close the regular season 17-13 overall and 6-10 SEC after Sunday's 88-64 win at Alabama. This is the first 17-win season for the Tigers since the 2006-07 season, and the first that time the Tigers have earned six conference wins since the 2005-06 season when Mizzou finished 10-6 in Big 12 play.
The win was also record-breaking within the league, as the Tigers now have made 253 three-pointers this season, the most in SEC history. The previous record was set at 248 by South Carolina in 1994. Sophomore Morgan Eye also leads the league with her 108 treys this season. She is tied at top of the SEC all-time season three-pointers list as the current record was set at 108 in 2010 by Mississippi State's Alexis Rack.
Junior Bri Kulas led the Tigers in the contest, earning her fifth double-double of the season, She finished with 23 points and a career high 14 rebounds overall as she was 9-of-14 from the field. Both Liz Smith and Liene Pride also finished in double-figures with11 points each.
The game started off quickly, with both teams trading baskets at a fast pace. By the first media timeout, Alabama had the 12-11 lead, but Sydney Crafton tied it up at 12 with a free throw when play resumed. The Tigers didn't settle for the tie as Bri Kulas hit two three-pointers in a row, and Liene Priede followed with a jumper to take the 20-12 lead.
Alabama took a timeout to slow Missouri's production, but Pride hit another three-pointer, the fourth of the game. After a media timeout, Morgan Eye immediately added another three-pointer to Mizzou's tally putting the Tigers up 26-12 with just over 10 minutes to play in the half. Kulas made another basket before Alabama finally found the net, ending Missouri's 17-0 run in the half.
At the under-8 media timeout, Missouri had the 30-14 lead over the Crimson tide, and Liz Smith was sent to the free throw line right after the break increasing the lead to 31-14 for the Tigers. Crafton tipped in a beautiful inbounds pass, and Kulas followed that up with Missouri's sixth three-pointer of the game. Alabama responded with a bucket of their own. Freshman Michelle Hudyn got on the board for the Tigers with a few minutes in the half as well.
At halftime, Missouri went into the locker room with a 41-23 lead after shooting 50 percent from the three-point line. The Tigers had made seven treys, needing just two to break the league record. Eye had made two three-pointers so far in the game, putting her just two away from breaking the individual league record as well.
Kyley Simmons sunk a trey to open the half, and also to tie the SEC record. Simmons' three marks Missouri's 248th this season. The conference record was originally set by South Carolina in 1994. Morgan Eye hit another three-pointer with just over 15 minutes to play in the game. Her trey officially broke the conference season record, and it also marked her 108th three-pointer of the season. That number ties her at the top of the league also, as the previous record was set at 108 threes in a season by Mississippi State's Alexis Rack in 2010.
The two teams continued to battle out on the court, and at the under-12 minute timeout Missouri had the 60-38 lead. Priede made a wide-open layup when play resumed to put her into double-figures on the day and increase the Mizzou lead to 24. Alabama responded with a layup of their own, but Lianna Doty wouldn't let that stick as she made a quick assists to a Kulas bucket. Morgan Stock followed up almost immediately with a bucket of her own.
Following the under-8 minute media timeout, the Crimson Tide hit a free throw to make the score 71-48 still in Missouri's favor. Morgan Stock made one from behind the arc as well for the Tigers' 251st this season. Missouri sent Alabama back to the free throw line, giving them two more points, but Missouri maintained control of the game. Bree Fowler made yet another trey for the Tigers before the next break, and Maddie Stock added another right after. Tigers led 84-55 with just under three minutes to play.
The Tigers finished the game strong, earning the 88-64 win over the Crimson Tide to finish the season 17-13, 6-10 in SEC play.
Next on the schedule, Missouri begins postseason play at the SEC Tournament in Duluth, Ga. The tournament will be held in The Arena at Gwinnett Center with the first game set for Wednesday, March 6 at 6 p.m. The Southeastern Conference Tournament will continue until the Championship game on Sunday, March 10 at 6 p.m.
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