COLUMBIA — The screeching of skin across the hardwood floor pierced Mizzou Arena, triggering a gasp from the crowd.
Missouri women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton sat with her eyes fixed on Sydney Crafton. Crafton lay motionless under the basket after receiving an elbow to the face while driving in for a layup.
As Crafton slowly got to her feet, Pingeton's shoulders dropped, relaxing at the sight.
"You've got to have kids who are locked in and aggressive," Pingeton said.
The Missouri women's basketball team improved its record to 8-2 with a 97-59 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday night. It's the second consecutive game in which the Tigers scored more than 90 points. Pingeton attributes the team's success to its toughness and shooting ability.
After the foul, Crafton went to the free-throw line and sank both shots. She earned the team 11 points, and in the past four games, she has made 24 of her 31 shots.
Three other Tigers made it to double digits in points. Bri Kulas earned 18 points, Maddie Stock earned 17, and Morgan Eye earned 19.
Eye is leading the SEC in three-pointers this season and has the best three-point shooting average.
With 13 minutes left to play, Eye successfully shot her fourth three-pointer of the game. As the Missouri bench high-fived, Pingeton stood with her arms crossed, her face unaffected.
"I have incredibly high expectations for this team," she said. "This is the offensive output we envisioned."
Going into the week, the Tigers were ranked eighth in the country in 3-pointers.
"She is hard on us, but that's how she's always been," Crafton said. "At the end of the day, I know she loves us."
After a week of three Missouri wins, the team will get a break and resume play on Dec. 16 against Southern Illinois.
"I'm just so proud of them," Pingeton said, pausing before adding, "But we still have a lot of work to do."