Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Roundup: MU Women Beat Vandy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Roundup: MU Women Beat Vandy

Article excerpt

Missouri women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton had to hold back her emotions while honoring her three seniors before Thursday's regular-season home finale at Mizzou Arena. But the Tigers quickly turned the night into a celebration.

The 11th-ranked Tigers blitzed Vanderbilt from the opening tip with 3-point bombs on one end and a relentless zone press on the other, in an 83-68 victory. Mizzou (23-5, 11-4 SEC) outscored the Commodores 35-17 in the first quarter behind five Lauren Aldridge 3-pointers and led by double digits the rest of the game. Throughout the opening period Vanderbilt (6-23, 2-13) couldn't get past Mizzou's press, committing six of its 14 turnovers before the second quarter began.

Pingeton later said she came up with the press before going to bed Wednesday night, hoping to cook up a strategy to help her players "snap out" of their pregame emotions.

"I was thinking about our game plan and (the press) is something we haven't done for a while," she said. "I thought we might be able to catch them off guard a little bit and more than anything get us out of being emotional about our seniors. With the culture we have here and the chemistry and relationships, it's really emotional when our senior class is nearing the end of their careers."

The Tigers are done playing SEC home games on their home floor but are in position to serve as one of 16 host sites for the first two rounds of next month's NCAA Tournament. The NCAA's latest seedings slotted Mizzou as the No. 3 seed (No. 11 overall) in the Spokane Regional.

"They're one of the hardest teams in the country to guard because of the way they move and pass and share the ball," Vandy coach Stephanie White said. "Missouri's a heck of a team that's going to make a deep tournament run."

Against the Commodores, MU had a balanced attack with Amber Smith scoring a game-high 19 points. Jordan Frericks, playing her final regular-season home game, added 16 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and nearly pulled off a triple-double with nine assists. Aldridge added her 15 points with six assists, while Sophie Cunningham had a quiet night by her standards, scoring 14 points.

Before the game, the Tigers honored their three seniors: Frericks, Kayla Michael and Bri Porter, who sat out the season after suffering a fifth ACL injury. (Dave Matter)

Ex-Tiger leads record-breaking comeback * Tramaine Isabell, who played his first two college seasons at Mizzou, posted a double-double and made two free throws with 2.2 seconds to play as Drexel made a 34-point comeback in a victory over Delaware Thursday for the largest come-from-behind win in the history of Division I basketball.

Isabell scored 29 points with 12 rebounds and nine assists in the 85-83 victory in Philadelphia.

Austin Peay wins at SIUE * Chris Porter-Bunton matched his season high with 23 points, Zach Glotta (Fort Zumwalt North) hit four 3-pointers and scored 19 and visiting Austin Peay held off SIU-Edwardsville 86-82 Thursday night. …

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