Missouri women's basketball breaks decades-old records in win against Bradley

Sunday, December 8, 2013 | 7:15 p.m. CST; updated 6:51 a.m. CST, Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Missouri women's basketball team broke the school record for most points scored in a 126-55 win over Bradley on Sunday.

COLUMBIA – Missouri women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton was concerned. A busy weekend for Missouri athletics followed by finals week had her wondering where her team’s focus would be during Sunday’s game against Bradley.

The team had an answer. Freshman forward Jordan Frericks scored 38 seconds into the game and Missouri never looked back, building a 41-9 lead less than 10 minutes into the game. The Tigers scored the most points in a game in school history as they cruised to a 126-55 victory at Mizzou Arena.

"I thought it was pretty evident right out of the gates our girls were right where they needed to be," Pingeton said. "I think the thing that was most impressive as we went throughout the game was just their ability to sustain it."

The last time Missouri (9-1) scored more than 120 points in a game, "Stayin’ Alive" by the Bee Gees was the top single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Joann Rutherford’s 1977-78 Tigers held the previous record, scoring 121 points in a game against Missouri-St. Louis.

The Tigers didn’t have trouble staying hot offensively. Missouri led Bradley 65-23 at halftime, breaking the previous record also set in the 1978 game against Missouri-Saint Louis of 64 points scored in a half. Senior Bri Kulas led the Tigers with 26 points in the first half and finished the game leading all scorers with 27 points.

"It was fun, just seeing all my teammates out there knocking down their shots, having fun," Kulas said. "Everyone was in it together."

Seven Tigers finished with double-digit point totals. The team also tied the record set by last year’s team for 3-pointers with 18. Morgan Stock led the team with seven 3-pointers.

Stock, a sophomore guard, knows the source of the offensive success.

"That offense came from our defense," she said. "We did good on defense and we know we have the capability to be even better and keep working at it."

Pingeton and her coaching staff took time during the last few practices to work on defense with the team. The effort paid off. Lianna Doty had five of the team’s 11 steals, helping Missouri force 19 turnovers. The Tigers held Bradley to a 29.3 shooting percentage and dominated the glass, out-rebounding Bradley 47-25.

The Tigers want to be an inside-out team, focusing on points inside the paint and hitting 3-pointers in rhythm if the opportunity arises. While the 18 3-pointers may make that hard to believe, Missouri outscored Bradley in the paint 54-16.

"You’d love to bottle some of that up and have a reserve tank for other nights, but it was a night where everyone was knocking down shots," Pingeton said.

Missouri has a week to focus on finals before returning to game action against Belmont on Dec. 16 at Mizzou Arena.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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