Missouri dominates Alabama in regular season finale

Sunday, March 3, 2013 | 5:06 p.m. CST; updated 6:24 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 3, 2013

For the second consecutive road game, the Missouri women's basketball team jumped out to a big halftime lead on Sunday.

This time, the Tigers didn't let the lead slip away.

After trailing 12-11 at the first media timeout of its game at Alabama, Missouri scored 17 straight points en route to a 41-23 halftime lead. 

Unlike last week's game at Auburn, where the Tigers saw a 10-point halftime lead disappear, the Tigers never let up in blowing out the Crimson Tide, 88-64.

Junior forward Bri Kulas had another big game, putting up 23 points and 14 rebounds for her second double-double in a row. 

"I think she's definitely making strides," coach Robin Pingeton said in a postgame interview. "It's hard when you're the new kid on the block, coming into the program, to feel comfortable. She's finally at that point where she knows what we need from her night in and night out."

Senior center Liz Smith and senior guard Liene Priede each added 11 points and four rebounds in Sunday's regular season finale, and Missouri outrebounded Alabama 53-32.

The Tigers also set a new Southeastern Conference record for most 3-pointers made as a team in a single season, making 13 long-range shots on Sunday to bring its total to 153.

Sophomore guard Morgan Eye also tied the SEC's individual record for 3-pointers with her 108th of the season.

With the win, Missouri finishes the regular season 17-13 overall and 6-10 in SEC play, its best record since the 2006-07 season.

After five straight losses, Missouri has now won two straight games heading into the SEC tournament, which starts Wednesday. 

Missouri will be the No. 10 seed in the SEC tournament and will face No. 7 Vanderbilt in its first tournament game Thursday.

Missouri lost 62-46 to Vanderbilt in Nashville on Feb. 14.

But Pingeton said she was encouraged by her team's performances in the past week.

"In the middle of February, you want to be playing your best basketball going into March, and we certainly were not at that point," Pingeton said. "To get back-to-back wins, I certainly don't think that hurts. You like to go into the postseason on a positive note."

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