The Thanksgiving dinner the Missouri women’s basketball team enjoyed Wednesday evening at coach Cindy Stein's house before traveling to to Tallahassee, Fla., to play in the Seminole Classic at Florida State might have slowed down the Tigers in their game Friday.
Stein said her team looked sluggish against Florida A&M, but the Tigers still sneaked past the Rattlers 69-65 to improve to 3-1 .
“Not a very impressive victory,” Stein said on a radio broadcast after the game.
The Tigers committed 19 turnovers, while forcing 16. Stein pointed out that her team has been working rigorously on its defense and free-throw shooting, but that it didn’t show in the game. Missouri shot just 53.8 percent from the line.
“We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas,” Stein said.
Missouri led by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Rattlers were able to make a game of it, tying at 53 with just over 10 minutes left. The Rattlers never were able to take the lead.
The Rattlers' Deidra Jones frustrated the Tigers all game long, scoring a game-high 33 points, while shooting 15-for-17 from the line.
The Tigers' Amanda Hanneman continued her three-point shooting prowess, connecting on four from behind the arc and finishing with 13 points.
“We want her to have the green light. We don’t expect her to miss much,” Stein said of Hanneman.
Shakara Jones led the Tigers with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Raeshara Brown added 16 points. Stein also noted Breanna Brock, who finished with four blocks, for the key plays she made on defense.
After struggling to win on the road the past two seasons, the Tigers have been able to win their first two this season. Missouri might need that extra confidence for what lies ahead — No. 12-ranked Florida State. The Tigers face the Seminoles at 1 p.m. Sunday in their second game of the tournament.
If Missouri wants to win, it might mean the Tigers will need to eat lighter before the game.
“We may have to change our menu tonight,” Stein said.