COLUMBIA- Missouri women's basketball remains undefeated Thursday night after a commanding 79-46 win against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

The victory marks the tigers' best start since the 2015-16 season, when Missouri tallied 13 straight wins to begin the year. The program also remains undefeated against SIUE, notching seven straight victories since 2013 against the Cougars.

Despite the outsized score, Coach Robin Pingeton believes the Tigers did not play to their full potential.

""It's a good thing you can be so frustrated after a 30-point win. We weren't the best version of ourselves tonight," Pingeton said.

Guards Aijha Blackwell and Lauren Hansen contributed 16 points each to the tiger victory, with Blackwell posting another double-double. As a team, Missouri shot 56% from field goal range and 31% from beyond the arc.

"We've got a handful of kids that are shooting a pretty high level," Pingeton said.

A bright spot for the Cougars was Gabby Nikitinaite, who tallied 18 points and shot 8-18 from the field.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as both teams played patient offense and focused on getting to the rim.

Momentum began to swing Missouri's way late in the first quarter after Mama Dembele lobbed a full-court pass to Blackwell for an easy layup. After ten minutes, the tigers had a slim two-point lead.

After trading scores to open the second quarter, Missouri put together a 20-4 run over a six minute span. The run was capped off by a pair of impressive baskets from freshman Izzy Higginbottom.

The tiger defense found its stride in the second quarter, allowing just 12 points to the cougars. Missouri held a 48-31 lead heading to the locker room.

The second half of the contest was all tigers, outscoring SIUE 31-15 in the final 20 minutes.

Missouri will now prepare for their toughest matchup of the season thus far when they travel to No. 5 Baylor on Saturday.

"We know it's going to be a dogfight against Baylor, but we're looking forward to the opportunity in front of us," Pingeton said.

The tigers will enter the contest 8-0 after tonight's win, while a loss to No. 3 Maryland on Nov. 21 dropped Baylor's record to 7-1.

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