Mizzou Women's basketball opens SEC Tournament play against Ole Miss
COLUMBIA – Mizzou Women’s basketball begins their postseason play tonight in the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. as they look to defeat Ole Miss at Bridgestone Arena. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
Coming off a crushing defeat against Texas A&M to close out the regular season, the Tigers will look to bounce back for their first ever SEC Tournament victory. Mizzou’s loss to Texas A&M ended a six-game winning streak that saw the Tigers rise to No. 14 on the AP rankings.
The Rebels had a season to forget this year, highlighted by their dead-last finish in the SEC standings. However, they will come into the match-up against the Tigers with some momentum having knocked Florida out of the tournament on Wednesday.
Mizzou and Ole Miss last squared off on Jan. 18 with the Tigers defeating the Rebels 67-48.
Throughout the season, Mizzou dominated SEC rivals with a conference record of 11-5. Last season Mizzou won 11 SEC games as well, marking the first time since 1984-1985 the Tigers secured 11 wins in conference play.
The Tiger’s SEC dominance can be highlighted by a number of factors, but most notably their rebounding defense. Mizzou ranks fifth in the nation in this aspect of the game, holding opponents to just 30.3 rebounds per game. The Tigers have absolutely dominated the glass all season, leading to opponents with fewer opportunities in the paint.
This means more opportunities for the Tigers, led by star guard Sophie Cunningham and All-SEC forward Jordan Frericks.
Frericks finished an assist shy of a near triple-double on Senior Night vs. Vanderbilt, filling up the stat sheet with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. Frericks has been shooting lights out over the Tiger’s last seven games with an average of 15.9 points per game.
Cunningham has been a horse for the Tiger’s all season, and arguably has been one of the most efficient shooters in the country. The junior guard is the only player in the nation shooting at least 83 percent from the line, 47 percent from three-point land, and 56 percent from the field.
Both players will look to lead the Tiger’s on a hopeful postseason run throughout the 5-day SEC Tournament, much like they have all season.
The Tigers won their last conference tournament game on March 7, 2012 over Oklahoma State in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament. Since joining the SEC, the Tigers have gone 0-5 in SEC Tournament play.
Mizzou hopes to make some changes in that win column, and that journey will start tonight.