What happens when you knock off a top-10 team to move back into a tie for fourth place in a strong conference? You end up ranked again.
(Mizzou is also 22nd in RPI.)
And what happens when you average 27 PPG in those two wins and score the game-winning points in the top-10 win? You earn national player of the week honors.
Mizzou Women's Basketball sophomore guard Sophie Cunningham was named ESPNW Player of the Week, as announced Monday. Cunningham led Mizzou to a pair of dramatic wins over Florida and No. 6 South Carolina, averaging 27.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
The two performances marked the second time this season Cunningham has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games. She's reached 20 points eight times this season and 18 times in her career. Cunningham has scored in double figures in six consecutive games as Mizzou has won three in a row and eight of its past 11 contests.
There was a lot to celebrate, of course, including the Tigers already securing a winning record in the SEC with two regular-season games remaining. But there was also another reason why the Cunninghams were still hanging around long after the game was over: A lengthy line of autograph-seekers kept sophomore Sophie Cunningham busy for quite a while.
That's nothing unusual for the hometown hero out of Columbia Rock Bridge High School. But it was even more the case Sunday. Cunningham got the winning basket with six-tenths of a second left, the last of her 26 points. She also had seven rebounds and five assists. And in the Tigers' 74-67 victory at Florida on Thursday, she had 28 points, six rebounds and two assists.
It all added up to Cunningham, a 6-foot-1 guard, being named the espnW national player of the week.
It’s hard to live up to the hype and expectations that were laid on Cunningham when she signed with Mizzou a couple of years ago. She has exceeded everything Mizzou fans could have legitimately hoped for.
And just for grins...
The game-winning moment pic.twitter.com/RjQPmezOWx— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) February 20, 2017
I talked about the women’s team, among other things (the men’s game against Kentucky, the most interesting position battle in spring football, etc.), on my Monday Big Show appearance.
- Next up for the Mizzou men: (gulp) Kentucky (8 pm CT, SECN). John Calipari swears his team isn’t going to overlook the Tigers. On yesterday’s SEC teleconference, he said, “I know what their record is, so I expected to see something different when I started watching tape. But I fully expect they’ll come to play.” He expects a good punch from Mizzou because everybody brings their best against UK. And hey, at least there will be a good halftime show.
- Oh man, it’s time to preview spring football already.
- PowerMizzou looked at a few other in-state players who might receive Mizzou offers in addition to 10 big (and growing bigger) names at the top of the list.
- Mizzou is looking for a new Faculty Athletics Representative.
- Because I am shameless, I will absolutely use this space to plug my book, The 50 Best* College Football Teams of All Time, which is available to the public on March 7 (two weeks!!). Here’s Hustle Belt reviewing my 1974 Miami (Ohio) chapter.