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Mizzou WBB blows out SEMO behind dominant defense

It was a dominant all-around performance from the Tigers, whose destruction of the visiting Redhawks moves them to 6-3.

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

When SEMO women’s basketball visited Mizzou last season, the Redhawks hung around. Despite the underdogs shooting poorly, the favorites did as well, as the Tigers shot just 43% from the field and 2/10 from three.

This season was a completely different story.

The Tigers didn’t shoot fantastically from three (9/26), but it was more than enough to take down SEMO with ease, as Mizzou’s defense flummoxed the road underdogs all game long. The 45-point victory is the third 40-plus point win since the 2016-17 season.

Missouri guard Mama Dembele dribbles up the lane in the first half of a game against SEMO on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Mizzou Arena. While Dembele did not score in the game, she contributed on defense, tallying six rebounds and three steals. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

“I’m really proud of the resiliency of this group,” head coach Robin Pingeton said, referencing Mizzou’s overtime loss to Virginia on Saturday. “I loved their ability to recalibrate and refocus.”

Mizzou dominated the opening half from start to finish. Grace Slaughter catalyzed the good vibes, scoring seven straight points in the first three minutes of action.

The positive energy carried over onto the defensive side of the ball as well. SEMO was suffocated, starting just 3/16 from the field and 1/8 from three. The Redhawks tried to generate open looks with constant movement on offense, but there always seemed to be at least one defender in the way.

In regards to defensive communication — something that’s been a problem area for the Tigers this season — Pingeton seemed pleased with that aspect on Saturday.

“It’s so much better,” Pingeton said.

The second quarter saw Mizzou’s offense crank up the heat even more. The Tigers swung the ball with purpose and, as a result, found open looks frequently. On Mizzou’s eight made baskets, six were assisted.

“I thought we played really unselfish, moved the ball well,” Pingeton said.

Ashton Judd found a groove after struggling to start the game, scoring nine points. The outburst included six in a row that was part of a 10-0 Mizzou run — an in-rhythm three and an and-one jumper.

The Tigers also committed just one turnover; for the third consecutive game, Mizzou has gone at least one quarter with one or zero turnovers.

The third quarter saw Mizzou move their offensive attack inside. Hayley Frank and Hannah Linthacum scored the first four baskets of the quarter, all of which came in the paint. After a scoring drought that last a little over three minutes, Abby Feit scored her first points of the game on a put back layup. By the end of the quarter, Mizzou had shot 7/10 in the paint, making up for a 1/9 stretch from three.

In the final frame, a handful of Tigers ate. Feit scored nine points , while Abbey Schreacke scored seven. Hilke Feldrappe, Micah Linthacum and Lucija Milkovic all scored as well. When Milkovic converted a hook shot with just under four minutes left, the scorebook indicated that every Tiger except Dembele had scored.

“Hilke had some nice minutes for us,” Pingeton said. “There’s a learning curve for her, and we just need to get her more reps because she’s got a really, really good feel for the game.”

Missouri forward Hilke Feldrappe guards SEMO's Indiya Bowen in the second half of a game on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Mizzou Arena. Feldrappe, a freshman from Berlin, Germany, led the team with four assists. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Frank led the Tigers in scoring with 18, followed by four others in double-figures: Judd with 15, Schreacke with 13, and Slaughter and Feit with 11. Judd also led the Tigers with two charges taken with resident charge master Frank taking one as well. SEMO shot under 27% from the field and 19% from three. The Tigers also nearly doubled up the Redhawks on the glass, as they won the rebound margin 49-26.

Mizzou will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., when they host Missouri State (3-2).