EbeneMagazine – US – Tigers SEC Opening Week Preview

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As 2021 quickly approaches, the most unusual and unpredictable end of the year for the sport will also be the start of a disheartening SEC women’s basketball conference.

Missouri (4-1) opens with a home game at 2 pm Thursday against dark horse Alabama (7-0). After that first SEC game, there will be another brutal clash with No. 10 Arkansas (9-1) Sunday. So far, the Tigers have used the rest of their already limited schedule as several stepping stones to gain some ground before the competition got thick.

Completing their non-conference program the way they did was exactly what coach Robin Pingeton had hoped for, losing just one game to No. 24 State of Missouri. Missouri’s last game against southern Illinois proved to be their most dominant performance, holding the Salukis to just 43 points. Defensively, the Tigers have found their rhythm in recent clashes, registering 22 team blocks overall and 41 interceptions so far this season.

Leading the Tigers in their three-game winning streak, 6-foot-4 forward Ladazhia Williams and transfer Shug Dickson. Williams who leads his team in blocks is also wreaking havoc for players at the post, limiting the southern Illinois top scorer to just eight points in December. 20. Dickson’s havoc on the defensive end has come from quick hands, tied with forward Shannon Dufficy with six interceptions this season. Despite cool and collected demeanor on the pitch, Dickson’s lockdown defense has given way to plenty of turnaround points in the past three games.

– We went from quarantine to a game-filled week until the Christmas break and just trying to get that condition threshold back was important after the break. Pingeton said. – We have a lot of things we need to work on, but I really appreciate this team a lot and I think they have a high cap. at ????

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The Tigers’ kind of defensive prowess will be crucial against the unbeaten Crimson Tide, who beat the Tigers 73-61 last season. Receiving votes to make the top 25 in the AP poll, Alabama will be just as dangerous a team as any SEC-ranked opponent this season. Some notable wins to his name so far are an 88-66 victory over Houston, a narrow victory over Oklahoma State and most recently a 74-68 victory over Memphis. The preseason has treated Alabama beautifully, winning every game and having only three games called off so far.

This quick start for Alabama isn’t just luck. It has a full roster and scoring opportunities all around it. Leading the tide is Jasmine Walker senior. Walker has led his team in all seven wins this season with his most successful performance against Memphis, a career-high 28 points. Not only can the 6-foot-3 forward get buckets, but he also takes High quality shots, averaging 40. 9% from the field, 40% from three and 78. 1% from the foul line.

Seniors Jordan Lewis and Ariyah Copeland are other stars to watch out for. Copeland averages 15. 4 points per game and slips her way into the paint every time she’s on the field. Lewis serves more as a role player, grabbing rebounds and easing their offense with 17 assists so far.

Coming on the heels of the Alabama game will be a more personal away game with the Razorbacks, who narrowly beat Missouri in February. Last 2 seasons. Since that four-point win, Arkansas have had key comebacks at seniors Chelsea Dungee and Amber Ramirez. With Dungee and Ramirez as the main goal scorers, Arkansas has already pulled off a huge upset, then toppling No. 4 Baylor in an 83-78 win.

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Dungee, who scores well in double digits in every game, may not be the best shot, but she comes to the foul line regularly, which could cause problems for the Tigers. Ramirez is more of a quiet storm, doing most of his dirty work on the other side of the pitch, registering 11 total steals this season. This combination of players can play in some of the areas where Missouri needs to improve; fouling and turnover.

With a victory over the reigning champions and their only loss coming from the No. 14 Maryland, the Razorbacks will be a force to be reckoned with. They have intimidated their way throughout their non-conference game and are looking to continue to dominate in the regular season.

Accuracy will be key in these clashes, which is what the Tigers have been pretty consistent with so far this season. The sharpest shooter in the group would be second-year goalie Hayley Frank. Against the Salukis, she never missed a shot from the field or the free throw line. While Frank is a first-for-all guard, anytime she takes the shot for herself, it’s probably the best offensive look around that point.

Other key Missouri shooting threats include Aijha Blackwell and the transfer of Lauren Hansen. Blackwell, whose consistency has been the focus of the Tigers’ offense for two seasons, will be crucial in an attempt to tackle another stacked in-store schedule this week. Even on rest nights, like the 72-58 loss against Missouri State, she remains a threat, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.

While Tiger fans are used to players like Blackwell and Frank, the Auburn Hansen transfer brings a whole new flavor to Mizzou Arena this season. As a native of New York, Hansen’s off-the-dribble shot gives a streetball feel that makes her a goal threat every time she has the ball. Recently she has scored twice on double digits and was outside the outcry on the defensive, winning two interceptions against Southern Illinois.

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After breaking it down, Missouri has all the tools to give the Crimson Tides their first loss this season and come out of it against the Razorbacks. However, if the Tigers fail to maintain a strong defensive presence against the top scorers or move things forward offensively in the first half, things will not work in their favor.

I think we’ve had a lot of momentum in the SEC so continuing with that and playing as a team will hopefully help us make a statement against Alabama, â € “ Hansen said when asked how his team have weathered this unusual season. “We just have to be in the moment and not take a day for granted and just be there and be present with your teammates has been really good. at ????

I am a sports journalist for the fall semester 2020 and I am currently studying print and digital sports journalism. You can reach me at shannonbelt @ mail. Missouri. edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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Missouri Tigers Men’s Basketball, Southeastern Conference, Tennessee Volunteers Men’s Basketball, Basketball

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