Rested Missouri women's basketball to open SEC play

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | 7:45 p.m. CST; updated 3:27 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 7, 2014

COLUMBIA — With 10 days and two holidays since its last game, Missouri women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton hopes her team comes back with refreshed mindsets, rested bodies and rested minds.

Missouri returns to action Thursday when the Tigers travel to Oxford, Miss., to play the Mississippi Rebels (9-5). Thursday's game marks the opening of the Tigers' Southeastern Conference schedule.

Pingeton and this year's Tigers hope to build off the team's latest victory against Western Illinois on Dec. 22. Missouri finished nonconference play with an 11-2 record. Pingeton was pleased with Missouri's solid nonconference play.

"I would say I think we've steadily improved defensively," Pingeton said. "Offensively, I think we've got a lot of firepower, but we've got to get more consistent. We've got to get a little bit better with our movement."

Missouri guard Morgan Eye has seen progress.

"From the very first game we had this season to where we are now, I know that we've improved tremendously," Eye said.

Missouri is 1-1 against Ole Miss in school history. The Tigers beat the Rebels in Oxford last season as Sydney Crafton hit a last-second free throw to give Missouri the 73-72 overtime victory.

Are the Tigers ready for the Rebels this year?

"I think we're ready. It's gonna be fun," Eye said. "Every game you've got to give it everything you've got, and anything can happen any night. That's what's so fun about the SEC."

Missouri is 2-2 on the road this season. The Tigers are shooting 88.2 percent from the free-throw line on the road and lead the SEC shooting 77.2 percent from the free-throw line.

After Thursday's matchup in Oxford, Missouri hopes to extend this season's undefeated record at home when the Tigers play Arkansas at Mizzou Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers welcome Georgia for another SEC matchup Jan. 9.

Supervising editor is Erik Hall.

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