Campus Corner

MU’s Sophie Cunningham sets SEC record with sixth freshman award

Sophie Cunningham.
Sophie Cunningham.

By at least one measure, Missouri guard Sophie Cunningham is the most prolific freshman in the history of Southeastern Conference women’s basketball.

Cunningham, a Columbia Rock Bridge graduate, was chosen Monday as the SEC freshman of the week for the sixth time, becoming the first player to win the award that many times.

During their respective freshman seasons, Tennessee’s Candace Parker (2006) and Angie Bjorklund (2008); South Carolina’s Alaina Coates (2014) and A’ja Wilson (2015); Arkansas’ C’ierra Ricketts (2009); Georgia’s Jasmine Jones (2010); and LSU’s Danielle Ballard (2013) won the award five times.

Cunningham averaged 20 points, 9.5 rebounds and four assists last week in losses against Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

She racked up her fourth double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds Thursday in Lexington, Ky., and added 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists Sunday against the Commodores at Mizzou Arena.

Entering the SEC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla., Cunningham leads the Tigers in scoring at 13.8 points per game and ranks second with 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Missouri, 21-8 and 8-8 in conference, is the No. 8 seed for the conference tourney and squares off with ninth-seeded Auburn at 11 a.m. Thursday at Veterans Memorial Arena.

The game will be televised on the SEC Network and the winner plays top-seeded South Carolina at 11 a.m. Friday.

The Tigers are 0-3 all-time in the conference tournament but won 69-55 at Auburn on Feb. 21.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer