What a feeling to set foot back in Mizzou Arena on Thursday night for the women’s exhibition match up against Lindenwood University. The season is upon us, dear readers, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Look at the new court. Ain’t it pretty? Love that giant Missouri in the center.
As for what we saw on the court? Clearly, the Tigers were facing inferior competition and completely mauled (sorry) the Lions, 87-39, but I came away pretty impressed with the way they played, especially for an exhibition at the end of October with some interesting lineup iterations. First off, everyone who played scored, which is awesome. Only three Tigers — Jayla Kelly, Skylah Travis, and Da’Necia Trusty — did not see the court and were not dressed out for the game. (Coach P mentioned after the game that they were dealing with some injuries.)
Additionally, despite what you see in the box score below, Izzy “57” Higginbottom has been dealing with an injury and isn’t back to 100% yet. A freshman, who performed like that in her first game, WASN’T 100%?!? Rock M WBB writer Lauren mentioned she’s getting some lofty comparisons already, folks.
Higginbottom getting compared to Kelsey Plum on KTGR should definitely get #Mizzou fans excited about what she can bring to the team!— Lauren Rosenberg ️ ✡️ (@lrosenberg101) October 29, 2021
That’s Las Vegas Aces’ PG, 2021 6th Women of the Year, Wooden Award winner, and 2017 no. 1 draft pick, Kelsey Plum, to be precise. Hot damn.
The Tigers were led in scoring by junior Hayley Frank with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting (4-5 from three). Hayley also had a 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. She was TERRIFIC. AB (my personal fave) had 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting (0-2 from three) with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Wow, have I missed her energy. It’s electric. Also of note, Mama Dembele, who was quite turnover-prone last season, had ZERO giveaways Thursday night, and the team forced something like 20+ turnovers. It really was a great team effort.
Rotation-wise, many lineups were used, but Aussie Sara-Rose Smith was the first player off the bench and played significantly more time on Thursday than I can recall seeing her the entirety of last season. She was followed off the bench by the freshman Higginbottom, then freshman Kiya Dorroh, LaDazhia Williams (who was sporting a pretty hefty knee brace), and the younger Linthacum, Sarah. Micah, the elder Linthacum, came in during the fourth quarter. I loved to see so many bodies being used with it being an exhibition and a blowout.
All 11 that saw the court scored ✔️— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) October 29, 2021
Four in double figures ✔️
Opening Exhibition "W" ✔️
From Robin Pingeton, on the postgame show, when asked what she thought the team could improve upon:
“I felt like we got comfortable with a lead and I just didn’t see that same kind of intensity to skip passes. I didn’t feel like we did a great job getting to that help side. Now, there’s some possessions I thought we really did a good job covering. In other possessions we did get caught in some screening action because we didn’t jump to the ball.
Offensively, I thought we shared the ball well… I thought we missed some inside touches and we’ve got to be able to play inside out. We’ve got to finish shots at the rim and I felt like we left some points out there. But for October and where we’re at… with so many new kids and young kids. I think there’s a lot of things that we can take from it and grow from those.”
One more thing… Shout out to a bunch of the men’s basketball players, who ambled over from the practice facility when they finished up their practice to check things out. I spied Javon, Kobe, DaJuan, Boogie, Yaya, Amari, Ronnie, and Anton for sure. Lindsey Cunningham was also in attendance, as well as Michael Porter Sr and the fam. It just was really great to be back in the arena and watching some hoops.
On to the Links! Go Tigers!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Sam’s got a new preview for you… Mike White’s Florida Gators!
- Kortay wrote about Harrison Mevis’ historic season. This is nicely done.
- A new BTBS podcast is ready for your listening ears, and Nate & StL Radio Wunderkind, Brandon Kiley, are back to chat about the desperate need for a Mizzou win in Nashville.
- Nate gets all philosophical in his shirts n pants post.
- COMING UP: The No. 5 team in Sam’s SEC rankings, a Pregamin featuring me, Kortay, and Sammy, a piece on the defense from BK, and more…
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dave Matter wrote about the lengthy injury list — woooooooo, boy — while Max Baker wrote a phenomenal story on Isaiah McGuire’s relationship with his father that is a MUST READ. Matter also was back with a new chat AND a new Eye on the Tigers pod with Ben Fred, discussing Mizzou’s need to avoid a Halloween horror show! Unfortunately, I think the former is for subscribers only.
- Columbia Tribune: In a TigerExtra ($$), Chris Kwiecinksi told readers how LB Chad Bailey’s patience and energy earned him a starting spot on Mizzou football’s defense. In a new Mizzou Sports Podcast, Eric and Chris are joined by The Tennessean’s Aria Gerson to chat about the Vandy game.
- KC Star: Lila Bromberg wrote about the Missouri football injury report, in which the Tigers could be without key contributors vs. Vanderbilt. Big yikes.
- PowerMizzou: Gabe was back with a new edition of Opposition Research, where he talked with VandySports.com’s Chris Lee. It’s available on YouTube or in podcast form. Mitchell talked with Connor Bazelak about bouncing back after the bye week. Here’s hoping we see a better Baze after the week off.
- HARRISON MERCH!
Side Note: Nate was the purveyor of this wonderful nickname, and Rock M really missed a golden opportunity to partner with him on some merch, huh? Sorry, Nate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- On a new episode of the Inside Mizzou Athletics Podcast, Matt Michaels and Mike Kelly talk with Mizzou broadcaster Chris Gervino about… interesting stuff.
What do #Mizzou broadcaster Chris Gervino, coaching potty-mouths, speeding for Norm Stewart, and an Australian car brand all have in common? This episode of the Inside @MizzouAthletics Podcast!— Mizzou Radio (@MizzouRadio) October 27, 2021
Chris is this week's guest, like / subscribe / listen here:https://t.co/rcWZWVZJ6q
- PowerMizzou’s Joel Lorenzi is putting together a cool thread of EACH player on the men’s roster for subscribers. Next up is Yaya Keita.
- LOVE to see it.
- Miss the game Thursday night because you weren’t listening to it on the radio or weren’t at the arena? You can read Shannon Belt’s recap, or check out this one from MUTigers.com.
- Earlier this week, Women’s Hoops gave back to the community.
- Get to know.. Haley Troup!
Other Mizzou Sports
- Soccer closes its season on a high note, with a shutout WIN against Texas A&M! According to MUTigers.com, this is the Tigers’ first win over aTm since 2011. The Missourian’s Anthony Kristensen has your final gamer.
- From senior Momola Adesanmi:
Words fail me and the details are plenty. But for the last 5 yrs & many more before, for the ability, the opportunity, & the privilege to play.— Adunniade (@momolaadesanmi) October 29, 2021
To Jesus, the author & finisher of my faith. You really did a thing when you wrote this part, thank you.#hisgloryalone https://t.co/rXbNqv1liw
- Baseball ends Fall Ball on Saturday vs. Arkansas State at 1pm. Admission is free at Taylor Stadium. More at MUTigers.com
- As mentioned repeatedly this week, the SEC Cross Country Championships are being held this weekend at Columbia’s own running complex, Gans Creek. MUTigers.com had a preview, and also went in-depth on the creation of the world class course. Check it out.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s @SEC Cross-Country Championships! Hope to see folks out at Gans Creek course, (aka one of the best XC in the country), supporting these fantastic student-athletes. https://t.co/o9fTMiB2qM— DR_Francois (@DRFrancois1) October 28, 2021
- ANOTHER recruit coming to Larissa Anderson’s squad? It’s getting crowded over there. Coach Michaela Transue teased it:
Mizzou in the Pros/Former Tigers in the Wild
- Oh hey, we know these guys! #memories
How it started: How it's going: pic.twitter.com/zXrE8ZViNB— Jarrett Sutton (@JarrettTSutton) October 28, 2021
- Nick Bolton, we miss you and your awesomeness!
Nick Bolton has stepped into the NFL and become one of the best run-stuffing LBs as a rookie:— PFF KC Chiefs (@PFF_Chiefs) October 28, 2021
♦️ 27 tackles on run plays (4th among LBs
♦️ 12 tackles for loss/no gain (1st) pic.twitter.com/2UWIAwxbzD
- This is cool. Speaking of this game, the Jazz beats the Rockets on Thursday, 122-91.
JC’s stats: 24 minutes, 6-16 shooting (3-11 from three), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 TO, +25
Jalen Green and Jordan Clarkson become the first two players of Filipino descent to share the court in an NBA game! pic.twitter.com/waKSIfVwCA— NBA (@NBA) October 29, 2021
- The Nuggets (2-2) have been off since I last reported on the Links, but will return to action this evening against the Mavs at 9pm on ESPN.
— — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
(** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earncommissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)