MU guard Sophie Cunningham tries to save a Missouri shot

MU guard Sophie Cunningham tries to save a Missouri shot against UMKC during the second quarter of a game Thursday. Cunningham was the top scorer for the Tigers, with a total of 24 points during the game.

Missouri’s defense was not up to coach Robin Pingeton’s standards on Thursday night in the Tigers’ 66-59 victory over UMKC. The Kangaroos shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and had countless easy looks.

“I thought we really did a poor job guarding off that ball screen action and taking away the clear side drive,” Pingeton said.

The Tigers recorded six steals in the first half, more than their per game season average. Redshirt senior Lauren Aldridge and freshman Akira Levy had two steals apiece. However, the overall effort level on defense wasn’t to Pingeton’s liking.

“Defense is hard work,” Pingeton said. “It’s not easy. It’s uncomfortable and you get no praise or no credit for it. We just didn’t take enough pride in that tonight.”

Missouri forced 18 UMKC turnovers and scored 21 points off those turnovers. What should have acted as an advantage for the Tigers turned into a wash, since they committed 17 turnovers of their own. The Kangaroos scored 20 points from those turnovers.

Earlier in the season, assistant coach Ashleen Bracey mentioned the team’s goal was to commit 12 turnovers a game. The Tigers haven’t committed 12 turnovers or less in a single game this season. Their season low is 14 against Western Illinois.

“We’ve got to do a better job taking care of the ball,” Pingeton said. “Seventeen turnovers against a team that doesn’t pressure you. That sense of urgency is going to come back to bite us if we can’t figure it out. Seventeen turnovers against a team that doesn’t press you is unacceptable.”

Supervising editor is Seth Bodine.

  • Covering the Missouri women's basketball team for the 2018-2019 season. If you have any questions or want to reach out you can email me at or find me on Twitter @druberry_

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