COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Women's Basketball secured an impressive road victory on Saturday, downing No. 21 California, 55-52, to capture the 2017 Cal Classic Championship. Mizzou improved to 5-1 on the season with its fifth straight win. The last time the Tigers won a true road game against a Top 25 opponent in nonconference play was Jan. 5, 1983 against No. 13 UCLA. Mizzou used a well-rounded effort to edge Cal, as six different Tigers scored at least six points. Head coach Robin Pingeton's team was stout defensively, forcing 14 Cal turnovers. Mizzou led by as many as 11 late in the first half. The Golden Bears clawed their way back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but timely clutch shots allowed Mizzou to hold off a comeback.
Cal tied the game at 49-49 with 3:41 remaining in the game, but Mizzou showed poise and worked an efficient offensive set that ended with a huge 3-pointer by sophomore guard Jordan Chavis. Chavis hit two key triples to provide a lift off the bench. The Tigers clamped down and got a big stop defensively and junior Sophie Cunningham converted a tough driving layup on the ensuing possession to put Mizzou back up by five, 54-49. Mizzou continued to get the stops it needed in the final two minutes to seal the road victory.
Cunningham led Mizzou with 11 points and added a season-high seven assists. She has reached double figures in 17 consecutive games dating back to last season. Sophomore Amber Smith poured in 11 points behind a 3-for-3 effort from beyond the arc. Her trey in the fourth quarter halted a California run down the stretch. Junior Cierra Porter grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds and added eight points, including an important free throw with less than 15 seconds remaining. Porter also held Cal All-American Kristine Anigwe to just 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
No. 23 Mizzou hosts former Big 12 rival Kansas State as part of the 2017 Big 12/SEC Challenge on Thursday, Nov. 30. The game will air on SEC Network. Tip is slated for 8 p.m. CT at Mizzou Arena.