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Missouri women never lead in loss to Michigan

ESTERO, Fla. — The Missouri women’s basketball team never led Friday night in a 70-54 loss to the Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

Michigan scored the game’s first nine points. Missouri made just three field goals in the first quarter, snapping the Wolverines’ run with a 3-pointer by Hannah Schuchts.

Michigan led 15-7 after one quarter and used another 9-0 run in the second to lead 37-14 at halftime. Missouri shot just 17 percent (5-of-29) from the field in the first half.

The Wolverines stretched their lead to 57-30 by the end of the third quarter.

The Tigers ended the game on a 12-4 run to pull back within 16 points at the end for their smallest deficit of the second half.

Sophie Cunningham finished with a team-high nine points for Missouri, scoring eight in the second half.

Amber Smith scored eight points and Lauren Aldridge added seven points.

Deja Church led Michigan (4-0) with a game-high 15 points.

Missouri (3-2) plays Quinnipiac in the loser’s bracket semifinals at 12:30 p.m. today.

Qunnipiac dropped a 56-55 decision to Texas in its opener Friday.

The 10th-ranked Longhorns trailed by as many as 15 points in the game to the Bobcats before rallying for the victory in the final minute.

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