Missouri women's basketball team shows confidence

Monday, December 19, 2011 | 10:54 p.m. CST
Missouri forward BreAnna Brock goes up for a shot Monday as Evansville forward Samantha Heck tries to block at Mizzou Arena. Brock and teammate forward Christine Flores are consistently the two players leading in points. The Tigers defeated the Purple Aces, 74-51.

COLUMBIA — Senior BreAnna Brock admitted she has had confidence issues in her four years with the Missouri women's basketball team, but those problems seem to become less and less noticeable under second-year coach Robin Pingeton.

"I'm not a good player when I'm inside my own head," Brock said. "A simple mistake could easily just get me down, and I've been working on just realizing it's going to happen, but you just have to move past it."

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Brock's 25 points against Evansville on Monday night in the Tigers' 74-51 victory at Mizzou Arena showed her attention is now on the court, and her growing experience with Pingeton has forced her to realize that doubting herself doesn't help the team.

"It's not about me, that's what she forced me to realize," Brock said of Pingeton. "If I'm not a good player for myself, I'm definitely not going to be good for my teammates, and I can't afford to do that because that'd be selfish on my part."

Pingeton, though, recognizes that managing the psyche of an entire team on a daily basis is difficult and requires a certain amount of discretion.

"We talk a lot about not putting on some boxing gloves and being in a match against yourself, because that happens with a lot of our players at times," Pingeton said. "And so I think as a staff, trying to recognize when you got to just let them take a deep breath and relax and build them up, and when's the time that you really got to jump on them and demand more from them ... is certainly not a perfect science." 

But Missouri did not seem to lack confidence against Evansville, and the Tigers improved to 8-1 with the victory.

Senior Christine Flores also had 25 points, working from under the basket and from beyond the 3-point line. 

In one play in the second half, Flores missed a 3-point shot, gathered her own high rebound off the rim and passed to Kyley Simmons at the top of they key. Simmons threw a hard pass to Bailey Gee, who lobbed the ball over the head of an Evansville player for an easy layup for Flores, who was fouled on the shot and made the free throw.

Freshman Morgan Eye went 4-for-9 from the 3-point line, finishing with 12 points and four assists.

The Tigers have only two more non-conference games before they travel to No. 1 Baylor at the start of next month.

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