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Missouri women's basketball team gets early start

Sunday, October 25, 2009 | 3:07 p.m. CDT
Missouri women's basketball players Bailey Gee, left, and Amanda Hanneman play in Saturday's scrimmage at Brewer Fieldhouse.

COLUMBIA — It’s 8:15 on Saturday morning of homecoming weekend at MU.

Most college students are sleeping in, heading to the parade or preparing for a long day of tailgating.

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Meanwhile, the Missouri women’s basketball team was hard at work.

Ah, the glamorous life of a student-athlete.

The Tigers scrimmaged at the Brewer Breakfast on Saturday morning at Brewer Fieldhouse inside the MU Rec Center.  A free pancake breakfast was provided to the fans that came. With the parade taking place just outside, many supporters came inside to take a peak at the game.

“Sure (there are distractions). There’s a lot of activities going on, and we asked them to be pretty committed to getting in early last night,” coach Cindy Stein said.

For the Tigers two freshman, Sydney Crafton and Trenee Thornton, it was a whole new experience. Playing in front of a crowd in high school is one thing, but playing in front of fans at a D1 school is totally different.

“Coming out and playing in front everybody is a new thing for us. We were a little scared at first, especially the freshman,” senior Amanda Hanneman said. “You could see it on their faces, they were a little nervous. But they came around.”

The scrimmage was decided in double-overtime when Stein’s team beat assistant coach Doshia Woods’ team 48-47. When the second overtime began, it was decided that the first team to score would win and sophomore Kendra Frazier's free throw was the game-winner.

This scrimmage and the first week of practice have shown Crafton and Thornton that the college game is more uptempo.

“It’s faster than high school. More plays than high school,” Thornton said. “It’s a much tougher pace.”

Crafton and Thornton each saw some playing time on Saturday, but Stein doesn’t think the freshmen are there just yet.

“I think they are doing OK. It’s just so hard to measure because our others kids are so far ahead,” Stein said. “They are getting there…It’s only a week into it.”

Luckily, the Tigers two freshmen have another two weeks of practice to become better acclimated to the college game. The Tigers play their first and only exhibition game against Central Missouri on Nov. 8 at Mizzou Arena.

Thornton said, “There’s a lot of new stuff to learn. I’m still catching on.”


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