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Cougars See Upside Despite Loss at Missouri

Allie Troeckler
Allie Troeckler

COLUMBIA, MO. – SIUE women's basketball gave Missouri a tough game early but fell to the Tigers 68-51 Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

"I felt a different level of toughness today," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "We had a few drop-offs when that offense wasn't happening, but this team is going to be alright. This team has some intestinal fortitude."

SIUE (1-5) and Missouri (2-4) were tied 20-20 after the first period with the Cougars shooting 8 of 15 (53 percent) from the field in the opening frame.

"We shot the three-ball early well," said Buscher.

SIUE would finish with seven three-pointers from four different players, including two each from Ajulu Thatha and Bria Stallworth.

Missouri countered with a 15-4 run in the second period that set up a double-digit lead that lasted most of the second half.

"This group battles and I think what they found today is they can score and score in bunches," said Buscher. "This group is going to fight. I saw some good things from people. It's just a matter of staying with it."

SIUE crashed the offensive boards with a season-high 23 rebounds and turned it into 16 points.

Amber Smith paced the Tigers with 15 points as Missouri shot 47.3 percent (26-55) from the field.

Allie Troeckler was the Cougars' leading scorer with 10 points. Christen King added nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

"The biggest bright spot is that I saw our team stick together tonight," said Buscher. "If we can keep doing that we'll be fine."

SIUE is now idle for 10 days before returning to First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center Dec. 4 for a 5:30 p.m. contest against Purdue Fort Wayne.

"This group doing what they need to do," added Buscher. "I know the record doesn't show it, but I really believe in them."