TIGER TIPOFF: Missouri women's basketball duo eager to fill new roles

Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 8:05 p.m. CST; updated 2:07 a.m. CST, Friday, February 11, 2011

COLUMBIA — Christine Flores and BreAnna Brock battled against each other in San Antonio High School girls basketball.

Their schools competed in the same conference. Not only did Flores' Winston Churchill High School and Brock's Wagner High School face off in the 2007 Class-5a division championship game, but Flores and Brock also guarded each other.

"We actually collided and fell on the ground," Flores said. "It was funny, something to remember."

Flores scored 8 points in the final minute to give Churchill the victory.

Upon arriving in Columbia a year later to compete together on the Missouri women's basketball team, the San Antonio women discovered they would be roommates.

"You would think right off the bat, we would be close, but that’s not how it went," Flores said. "Coming from the same division in high school, it was hard to just have that respect because that’s the person you looked at as your rival."

Flores said the two have since left any bitter feelings toward each other in the past, adding that both players now respect each other and love each other as teammates.

With seven games left in Missouri's regular season, the two juniors are preparing to take over as leaders, both on and off the court.

"I know I’m ready for it," Brock said. "I’ve been thinking about it all year, getting ready to be a senior. I’m excited about it."

Flores and Brock both play the forward position and often sub in and out for each other. Flores averages more than 13 points per game. Her blocking abilities set her apart from the rest of the team, though. She has used her 6-foot-3 frame to block 49 shots in 23 games this season, just five shy of the rest of the Missouri roster's total.

Meanwhile, Brock averages 1 rebound every three minutes of playing time and 4 points per game. Although she believes she's ready to fill in for seniors RaeShara Brown, Jasmyn Otote and Shakara Jones, Brock acknowledges she still needs improvement.

"It's going to make me a lot more vocal and not shy away from letting people know things," Brock said. "I'm not perfect either, but I'll use constructive criticism and try to help people more than I’ve done."

Both Brock and Flores' voices will need to become much louder to replace Brown's. Her voice routinely drowns out Missouri coach Robin Pingeton's at games, yelling shouts of encouragement and sometimes frustration.

"I still consider myself a pretty big leader, but it will definitely pick up. Right now, I still consider Rae (Brown) the main leader on our team," Flores said. "After she leaves, I strongly believe my role in that will change as well."

The duo agrees that the team has spent more time together off the court than in the previous two years, which has translated to better team chemistry on the court. A member of the team will write the name of a restaurant on a board in the locker room after practice, and any coach or player without plans will meet at the location for dinner.

"Most likely, if you see one of us out, you’re going to see another one. We’re always together," Flores said.

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