The Missouri women’s basketball had three major milestones Thursday night.
An attendance of 1,661, which was the highest home attendance this season. A 84-65 win over Western Michigan which gave Missouri a nine-game winning streak under head coach Cindy Stein. And a career game from guard LaToya Bond.
Bond had a career-high 34, a women’s record in the one-year-old Mizzou Arena.
The Western Michigan Broncos (3-7) startled the Tigers when they came out with a strong offense. The Broncos held the Tigers to 28 points in the first half.
Broncos guard Casey Rost kept the Tigers scrambling on defense. Rost led the scoring with 14 points in the first half.
“We were very sluggish in the first half,” Stein said. “I didn’t feel like we were doing the little things.”
In the second half, the Tigers came out with a renewed energy.
“It felt a lot different,” Bond said. “I felt like the team had a lot more energy.”
Center Christelle N’Garsanet and Bond led the scoring drive for the Tigers in the second half.
Earlier in the game N’Garsanet had a hard time finding her rhythm in free throws and missed attempts.
“We knew that we could do it,” N’Garsanet said. “We’re a better team than what we were playing in the first half.”
The Tigers capitalized on their lead with points from Bond, guard Blair Hardiek, forward Carlynn Savant and forward EeTisha Riddle. Hardiek added to their lead with a three-pointer, making the score 49-41. Stein said that Hardiek came in and energized the team. Hardiek contributed the win to a team effort.
“I have people that I can pass the ball to that know how to put it in the basket,” Hardiek said.
Bond had a record-breaking 34 points. The previous record was held by guard Tiffany Brooks with 30 points in the Nebraska game last year. The Tigers are now 10-2. Their next game Wednesday marks the beginning of Big 12 conference play. Baylor University, defending national champions. visits Mizzou Arena.
Stein said that their main focus is getting better in the next few days.