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Variety of shots adds up for Missouri women's basketball team

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | 8:41 p.m. CST
Missouri forward Bri Kulas puts up a shot over Morgan State defender Simone Sampson during the Tigers' 75-50 victory over the Bears on Tuesday evening at Mizzou Arena. Kulas had 16 points in the game.

COLUMBIA — The nation's leading 3-point shooters began Tuesday night’s game struggling from long range before finishing with a season high of 14 long-range shots.

"You better believe if we get an open three, we're going to shoot it," Missouri women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton said. "But we absolutely talk about being an inside-out team."

Missouri had a slow start Tuesday against Morgan State, missing 11 of its 36 shots in the first half. But the Tigers were able to secure a 75-50 win with a strong second-half performance that started with success from inside the 3-point arc.

"If we start inside first, our outside shots are going to start falling," said guard Bri Kulas, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tigers opened the second half with an 11-0 run, including five layups — Kulas had three, and Liz Smith and Sydney Crafton each had one. Following the layups were 3-pointers. Morgan Eye hit a total of six 3-pointers and finished the game with 18 points.

"We had a bit of a hiccup tonight, but we found a way to come out in the second half," Pingeton said in the postgame news conference. "No doubt in my mind we will take the court Thursday with much more energy and focus."

Missouri will host Murray State on Thursday at Mizzou Arena — the Tigers' third and final game of a five-day stretch before their nine-day holiday break.

The Racers are 7-3 and on a seven-game winning streak.

"We've got to make sure mentally we don't go on Christmas break before Christmas break gets here," Pingeton said.

The game will be Missouri’s last non-conference home game before the team hosts its first Southeastern Conference game Jan. 6 against Auburn.

Despite Missouri's early struggles Tuesday night, Pingeton's offensive strategy remains the same.

"I've got a lot of confidence in this team collectively with their shots," Pingeton said. "We've got a lot of good shooters, so we're going to keep letting it fly."

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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