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Missouri upsets Tennessee on the road, and everyone was super cool about it

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Missouri women upset Volunteers in Knoxville

We’ve been fairly critical of the Missouri women’s basketball team on this site, or at least as critical as you can be about a team that is currently 13-3 and in the upper echelon of the SEC. The beginning of the year was tacked with a few bad home losses and inconsistent play by the team’s star, Sophie Cunningham. With such high hopes in place for Cunningham’s senior year, it seemed like turning things around would present a big challenge for Robin Pingeton’s program.

However, things seem to be right back on track after Sunday’s 66-64 win over No. 10 Tennessee in Knoxville. The return of Cierra Porter — who grabbed five boards in 14 minutes against the Volunteers — has reintroduced an element of physicality and grit to the team, and it showed as Missouri ground out a tough win against one of the nation’s elite programs.

Sunday’s win also showed that the Tigers haven’t lost their edge, which has rubbed more than one SEC rival the wrong way.

Cunningham — who scored 20 points in the win —also drew some criticism from one of Tennessee’s players who took a less-than-subtle dig on one of Sophie’s fouls during the game.

Look, this is a Missouri blog, so obviously you won’t find much criticism about Sophie Cunningham here. She’s the Mayor of Columbia; she’s every Tiger fans’ favorite provocateur; and she’s also pretty damn good at basketball. Does she play hard to the point of over-aggression? That’s pretty obvious. But she’s also refereed fairly for her hard-nosed style, and more than backs up her words with her play.

Let’s also not get too lost in the shuffle — Missouri is now 13-3 with an impressive conference road win on its resume and a five-game winning streak. Pingeton has a deep, talented roster with an ever-improving Cierra Porter now coming off the bench. And all the goals that appeared cloudy after disappointments against Green Bay and South Dakota — an SEC title, a Sweet 16 bid, maybe every more? — now seem very attainable again.

It’s an exciting time for Missouri basketball on both fronts. We’d be wise to pay very close attention and have fun watching two very charismatic teams play good, competitive basketball.

One more Tennessee note...

Today’s Rock M Nation honorary Badge of Honor goes to the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Ben Frederickson who had some very civil discussions with some very online Tennessee fans following yesterday’s game.


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