No. 15 MU women's basketball looks to end skid against Florida

AP

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A week and a half ago, Missouri women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton acknowledged the tough set of games awaiting her team.

“We’ve got a big stretch coming up,” she said at a Jan. 23 news conference.

On Jan. 25, the Tigers hit the road to take on Georgia and South Carolina before hosting Mississippi State. All three opponents are Top 25 teams, and all three handed Missouri a loss.

On Monday, the No. 15 Tigers (17-5, 5-4 Southeastern Conference) look to put an end to their three-game skid when they host Florida (10-12, 2-7). Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network.

The Gators have struggled this year and are one of just two teams in the SEC with a losing record. Florida doesn’t have any individual player that jumps out on the stat sheet. Instead, five Gators average more than 10 points and 30 minutes per game.

Here are three things to watch in the matchup.

Bench play

Florida gets consistent play from its first five, but that’s where it ends.

The Gators have just two other players who average at least four points and 16 minutes per game. Missouri, on the other hand, often goes deeper into its bench.

Sophomore guard Jordan Chavis and redshirt senior Kayla Michael see the bulk of the Tigers’ bench minutes, but sophomore guard Jordan Roundtree and redshirt sophomore Hannah Schuchts make significant contributions off the bench as well. Both shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point land.

Missouri’s depth could give Florida’s short bench issues.

Battle on the boards

Two of Florida’s top scorers also make a living on the glass.

Senior forward Haley Lorenzen and sophomore guard Delicia Washington average 9.5 and 9.2 rebounds per game, respectively. As a team, the Gators pull down 43.3 boards per game and rank second in the SEC in that category.

Missouri is no slouch on the boards, either. The Tigers average 40.3 rebounds per game and boast a rebound margin of of +9.5 boards per game, which ranks among the top 10 nationally.

The team that controls the glass on Monday will have an advantage.

Missouri’s 3-point shooting

Missouri has made a living behind the 3-point arc this season.

The Tigers shoot nearly 38 percent from downtown, led by junior standout Sophie Cunningham. Cunningham has made 45 3-pointers on the season, shooting at a 45 percent clip.

Florida, meanwhile, has stifled teams from range. The Gators’ opponents make just 30 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Something has to give.

Supervising editor is Jason Lowenthal: sports@columbiamissourian.com, 882-5730.

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