COLUMBIA — Nothing came easy for the Missouri women’s basketball team last season. The Tigers struggled early on, losing four of their first five games.
Lucky for them, it’s a new season.
The Tigers blasted Northern Iowa 74-57 on Sunday night at Mizzou Arena in their regular season opener.
Cindy Stein said, “I’m very pleased with the first half. I’m pleased with the game, but especially the first half. I think that’s what we’re very capable of doing.”
Here are some interesting facts about Sunday night’s match-up.
- Senior Amanda Hanneman’s 26 points were a career high for a regular season game. Hanneman, whose previous career high was 18, hit six three-pointers. Coach Cindy Stein might have found the person to replace last year’s leading scorer, Alyssa Hollins, who graduated.
- The Tigers began the game on a 29-7 run. Hitting six three-pointers in the first half, the Tigers pounded the Panthers to a 41-16 lead at the break.
- The Panthers outscored the Tigers 39-33 in the second half. Stein said, “I felt like we really relaxed (in the second half).”
- Missouri committed only six turnovers. Meanwhile, they forced 20 turnovers. After losing point guard Bekah Mills to a torn ACL on the first day of practice, ball control has been a concern for the Tigers, especially after committing 19 turnovers in its exhibition game against Central Missouri. So far, so good.
- Nine Tigers scored points, including three in double figures. Depth could be a key aspect of this year’s Tigers team.
- Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren was an assistant under Stein from 2001-2004. During Warren’s time in Columbia, she served as the recruiting coordinator for the program. After the game, Warren said Stein is one of her best friends and has been a “mentor” to her.
- Men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson attended Sunday’s game. Anderson, who could have left for more money after last season’s remarkable NCAA tournament run, continues to show his loyalty to Missouri.
- Northern Iowa was clearly outmatched by the Tigers. The Panthers struggled last season, finishing 11-19. Perhaps the Panthers could have used a pep talk from Northern Iowa alum and NFL star Kurt Warner.
The Tigers play at home at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against Memphis at Mizzou Arena.