COLUMBIA—Jessra Johnson has gotten used to watching her team jump out to big leads against inferior opponents, so don't expect the junior to get worked up over a little 22-0 run to start a game.
“I mean, that’s what we practice on is defense and being able to score when they’re not scoring and keeping our intensity up," Johnson said. "So, am I surprised about that? No, because that’s what we practice on hours and hours on the day.”
In its final game before the start of Big 12 play, the Missouri women's basketball team held Chicago State scoreless for more than eight minutes on its way to a 63-42 victory.
As the final score indicates the rest of the game did not go as smoothly for Missouri, but sophomore Shakara Jones said she caught a glimpse of how good her team can play.
"When I looked up there, I was like, 'This is what we’re capable of, this is what we can do,'" she said. "This is the type of defense that we need to play all the time.”
Jones scored 13 points and had five rebounds in 21 minutes while Johnson had team-high 15 points to go along with five rebounds of her own.
Chicago State actually outscored the Tigers, who put 10 different players on the floor for at least 10 minutes each, from the time it scored its first basket to the final buzzer.
“I can’t explain the drop-off during the game," Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. "I just think that some things happened real easy out there for us, and you relax. Our kids are really disappointed in our second half.
“The most positive thing about today’s game is our streak continues and that we won. I can’t say that it was a beautiful game out there," she said.
Missouri has won eight consecutive games. Mixed in with big victories over lowly Ohio Valley Conference teams like the University of Tennesse Martin and Southeast Missouri State has been come-from-behind wins over the SEC's Arkansas and Big 10-member Northwestern.
“We feel good about the streak," Jones said. "From the season we had last year to what we have now, it’d make anybody happy.”
The Tigers, whose record now stands at 9-4, won just 10 games last season.
“I want to win them all," Stein said. "I want to win them bad. I want no mercy. When we get leads I want us to have no mercy. I want us to have that foot on the pedal and going after people.”