Describing the Missouri women’s basketball “Tiger Night of Terror” intrasquad scrimmage as lopsided would be an understatement.
Senior Evan Unrau and sophomore LaToya Bond led the Black team to a 70-38 defeat of the White team before costume-clad fans at Hearnes Center on Friday night.
Coach Cindy Stein attempted to split the team as evenly as possible, but Unrau’s game-high 26 points and nine rebounds, coupled with Bond’s strong play at point guard, proved to be too much for the White team.
“I think a lot of the uneven scoring has to do with the point guard position,” Stein said. “There was an inexperienced point guard on the White team in Blair Hardiek, who as a freshman is still learning and I think will be very good for us, but things are just unnatural for her right now.
“On the other side, LaToya did a great job by hustling and letting her teammates know what they were doing on offense.”
The Black team used a 13-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 38-24 lead. In the second half, the White team shot 24 percent and could not mount a comeback.
“Overall I was pleased with how we played tonight but we’ve got some things to work on,” Stein said. “I think that obviously defense is still a key for us and we’ve got to pick up there.
“We also got a little tired and that hurt our shooting percentage in the second half and we have to pull through there, but there is still a week or two before the season starts to make adjustments.”
BOND DIVIDENDS: Bond might not have the same style as Kerensa Barr, her point guard predecessor, but the positive results are similar.
Although Barr was a vocal floor leader who created a lot of offense with the pass, Bond is soft-spoken, athletic and creates a lot off the dribble.
“LaToya brings a different style at point guard than we had last year,” Unrau said. “She is able to slash to the basket well and tonight we saw a glimpse of her moves to the basket that are unbelievable.”
Bond had a game-high eight assists and added seven points and seven rebounds but also turned the ball over six times.
“LaToya is doing a great job for us,” Stein said. “We’ve got to get her turnover numbers down, but anytime you have a point guard getting six or seven rebounds is just outstanding.”
Stein said she is also pleased with Bond’s ability to move the ball up the floor in transition and find an open player on the break.
“We know that our defense will create our offense,” Bond said. “We’ve been working in practice on getting the ball up the floor, looking for quick outlets and finding the post running the floor.”
TEXAS SHARP SHOOTER: Carlynn Savant, a freshman forward from Euless, Texas, continued to knock down 3-pointers.
Savant was 2-for-5 from 3-point range for the Black team and joined Unrau as the only other player to score in double figures with 13 points. In a scrimmage Oct. 24, Savant made all four of her 3-point attempts.
“Carlynn has the ability to shoot from the deep three, and that obviously gives us some versatility there,” Stein said. “She is improving in other aspects of her game and that is going to give her a lot more time this year.”
Savant joins Tracy Lozier and Evan Unrau as the Tigers’ main 3-point threats. Although she brings a lot to the team offensively, she realizes she needs to improve her weak defense to solidify a spot in the team’s rotation.
FISHER SIDELINED: Senior center Melanie Fisher did not play again because of an unspecified back injury, which she suffered during the softball season.
“Melanie is getting better, but we’re playing it really slow with her because we don’t want to rush anything,” Stein said. “We want her to be able to go full speed but she is still probably three or four weeks away from that.”
Fisher started all 31 games last season and was second on the team in rebounds, averaging six per game.
— Don Feitel contributed to this report.