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Tigers a "work in progress" but win exhibition opener

Missouri got off to slow starts in both halves but managed to put away Southwest Baptist
Friday, November 7, 2008 | 9:24 p.m. CST; updated 4:34 p.m. CST, Monday, November 10, 2008
Shakara Jones, a sophomore on the MU women's basketball team, goes for a basket while Cortney Shewmaker tries to defend. The Tigers won the game, 80-50, against the Bearcats in Columbia on Friday.

COLUMBIA — Cindy Stein put her "work in progress" on display for the first time Friday night.

The coach of Missouri women's basketball team watched her team defeat Division II Southwest Baptist University 80-50 in an exhibition game at Mizzou Arena, but she said the Tigers have a long list of things to work on.

Despite a decided size advantage — no player taller than 6-feet tall stepped onto the floor for Southwest Baptist — Missouri out-rebounded the Bearcats by just a 43-34 margin and launched 20 3-pointers in the game, making five of them.

“I was a little disappointed in some shot selection. I thought we were trying to shoot too quick," said Stein, who asked her team to get the ball inside more.

Stein said she thought her team was nervous about playing in front of a crowd for the first time this season, especially the freshmen members.

“The first couple minutes we were running our routes so hard and quick that we didn’t even have time to pass it," Stein said, "and defensively we were kind of chasing there and over-running our kids and a lot of that is nerves because we’ve actually been doing a pretty good job in practice on those things."

Missouri got off to slow starts in both halves.  Midway through the first half, the Tigers led just 18-16 before racing to 40-23 halftime lead.

Then, after scoring just 12 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, Missouri scored 28 points in the game's final 10 minutes.

Senior guard Alyssa Hollins, who made nine of her 18 shot attempts and led the team with 21 points, said the slow starts revealed a positive for the team.

“I thought we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we came out with a lot of energy and we responded to coach a lot of times, and that’s a good sign when you can respond when we need to change situations," Hollins said. "We had a couple of lulls and she would call timeout, and I felt like we picked it up and we made some adjustments."

Junior Jessra Johnson scored 17 points and had seven rebounds while sophomore Shakara Jones added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Missouri's bench, which includes four true freshmen, scored just 17 points in the game, something Stein said she thinks will improve as the season progresses.

“I think you’re going to see our freshmen get a lot better," she said. "Our freshmen were very nervous tonight, and I think you’re going to see them get a lot more playing time than that.”

Missouri begins regular season play against South Dakota State at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mizzou Arena.

 

 

 

 


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