Mizzou women's basketball eliminated from SEC tournament following loss to Georgia

NASHVILLE - After earning the team's first SEC tournament win in program history, the conference run for Mizzou women's basketball is over after a 55-41 loss to Georgia.

The loss eliminates Mizzou from the SEC tournament as the Tigers now await their NCAA tournament seeding.

Sophie Cunningham had her lowest shooting percentage of the season shooting 3-17 with seven points. Cunningham fouled out in the fourth quarter after a tough outing.

As a team, the Tigers did not fare much better shooting 27 percent from the field and 21 percent from three.

Cunningham, Jordan Frericks and Cierra Porter combined to shoot 11 for 43 from the floor. The Bulldogs controlled the paint with 11 blocks inside giving Frericks and Porter little room to operate.

Going into the game, head coach Robin Pingeton stressed taking care of the ball and not giving up bad turnovers. Mizzou gave up 14 turnovers after coughing up 18 in the first meeting of the season against Georgia and 24 to Ole Miss on Thursday.

Unlike in Mizzou's win over Ole Miss, Sophie Cunningham got her first points early. Cierra Porter found her inside the paint on a back-door cut as Cunningham finished off the glass for two. The basket tied the game at six with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter.

However, Mizzou struggled to get into the flow of its offense in the opening quarter and shot just 21 percent from the field while giving up three turnovers. The Tigers trailed 12-8 after the first ten minutes.

Mizzou's first three of the game did not come until nearly two minutes into the second quarter as Lauren Aldridge spot up for three in the corner. The trio cut the deficit to 14-13 in favor of Georgia.

After struggling much of the first half shooting just 2-8 from the field, Cunningham sunk a three from well beyond the arc to give Mizzou its first lead of the quarter. 

Amber Smith followed up Cunningham's three with one of her own to give the Tigers a 23-20 lead heading into half despite shooting just 28 percent from the field.

In the second half, Georgia jumped out on an 8-2 run to take a 30-27 lead with just more than five minutes to go in the third quarter. 

Cunningham got tangled up for a loose ball and got called for an unsportsmanlike foul. The foul sent Georgia to the line as the Bulldogs took a 35-29 lead. Stephanie Paul stretched the lead to nine with a three on the following possession putting the Tigers in a hole after the 8-0 run.

Smith ended the run for the Bulldogs with a tough basket and the foul late in the third quarter to trim the deficit to six. Despite the basket, the Bulldogs led by eight heading into the fourth quarter.

Georgia continued to dominate on the defensive end, but Porter was able to find an opening for the lay up and the foul. The three-point play cut the deficit to five with 4:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, Caliya Robinson continued to dominate inside for the Bulldogs finishing with six blocks to end any shot at a comeback for the Tigers.

Mizzou now awaits its NCAA tournament seeding and matchup, which is announced during Selection Monday on March 12.


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