If you’re looking for a last-minute stocking-stuffer, it would be hard to go wrong with Mizzou basketball tickets this season.
Both teams on the court at Mizzou Arena have come out of the gates red hot this season.
Mizzou’s women’s basketball team currently rates as the No. 16 team in the nation and while the men’s team isn’t ranked, they boast a 9-2 record against what was the strongest schedule of anybody else in the nation as of Saturday.
After losing the season opener in the Hawkeye Challenge at Iowa City to Western Kentucky, the Lady Tigers have reeled off 11 straight wins including a road win against top-25 opponent California.
Each of the team’s last six victories have come by 12 points or more and two of them were won by a point differential of 30 or more.
This season, the Lady Tigers have averaged 72.7 points per game while allowing opponents just 57 points per outing, winning each game by an average of 15.7 points.
The team is led in scoring by Sophie Cunningham, a junior Columbia native who attended Rock Bridge, with 17.9 points per game. Cunningham put through 20 points Monday night against Xavier at the West Palm Invitational in Florida.
Cunningham has also shown a penchant for the three-point shot, making good on 49 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc this season. Additionally, she was responsible for making two late free throws that made the difference in an 82-80 win against Wright State back in the third game of the year.
Another Rock Bridge product, junior Cierra Porter, sister of the Porter brothers on the men’s team, posted her 17th career double-double Monday, scoring 12 with 10 rebounds. In fact, she’s averaging a double-double on the season thus far with 11.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
The Porters’ eldest sister, senior Bri, received a medical hardship and is sitting out this season.
The team has one contributor from the St. Louis area, Kirkwood alumna Jordan Roundtree. Roundtree, now a sophomore at Mizzou, dropped 21 points on Washington in the sectional round two seasons ago and led Kirkwood all the way to the state title game.
This season, she’s come off the bench for the Lady Tigers, playing 8.7 minutes per game and averaging two points per outing.
The Lady Tigers have another nonconference game, at home against Illinois Friday, before opening their SEC schedule on the road at Alabama on New Year’s Eve.
On the men’s side, the Tigers have returned to form under new Head Coach Cuonzo Martin.
The Tigers roll into Tuesday evening’s matchup at home against Stephen F. Austin on a four-game winning streak. Thus far this season, they’re 6-0 at Mizzou Arena.
Mizzou’s only losses came on the road at Utah and in a neutral-site game with West Virginia in the Advocare Invitational.
Prior to Saturday’s 85-51 home win against North Florida, Tigers’ opponents had a 59-28 combined win loss record, rating Mizzou No. 1 in strength of schedule and third in the nation in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
As of Monday, Mizzou’s RPI ranked No. 8 in the country. Of conference opponents, only Arkansas (seventh) rates higher. Duke has the top RPI rating.
Despite their success against a schedule that has been no pushover, the Tigers received no votes in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 poll. However, the Tigers did receive seven points in the USA Today Coaches Poll, tying them with Syracuse for 34th.
Despite playing without star freshman Michael Porter Jr., who underwent back surgery after playing just two minutes of the first game of the season, the Tigers have not lost a step.
They have been led in scoring to this point by a pair of seniors, Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett, each with 13.7 points per game.
Barnett, a product of Christian Brothers College High School who transferred back to the Show-Me State from the University of Texas, notched his second double-double of the season Saturday with 18 points and 11 rebounds. His previous double-double effort came with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the loss to West Virginia.
Pacific product Cullen VanLeer started for the Tigers in the first three games of the season and came off the bench in each of the other eight. He’s averaging 3.5 points per game with 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 16.1 minutes per appearance.
The Tigers come to the Scottrade Center for the annual Bragging Rights game with Illinois on Saturday. This team should be the one to reclaim bragging rights for the state on the west side of the river after Illinois has won each of the last four meetings.
After the new year, Mizzou will start SEC play on the road at South Carolina on Jan. 3.
From there, it’s a headlong charge through the season that looks like it could land the Tigers back in the March dance for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.