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Freshman fires 42 in historic performance

Debuting this season and quickly gaining traction as the Missouri women's basketball team's star freshman, Sophie Cunningham put together a record-breaking performance on Saturday and dropped 42 points in Missouri's 94-81 win over Wake Forest. She finished the game 13-of-18 from the field, which included 6-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line.

Swish Appeal: How does it feel to make school history as a freshman?

Sophie Cunningham: "Honestly, when I'm playing out there on the court I don't think about that kind of stuff. I'm just trying to do what it takes to win, and my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball when I needed it and setting me up for screens and stuff, so really props to them for getting me the ball last night."

SA: Was there any point in the game where you realized you were on?

SC: "When I started knocking down my three's, it just felt right. But when I was scoring I honestly didn't even realize how many points I had, and I didn't even know the record. I also didn't know that they had a record here, which is kind of dumb on my part. Like I said it's an awesome accomplishment, but it's just huge for the Mizzou program in general."

SA: Was there anything special about the game or your mindset going into the game?

SC: "No. I just think that we didn't have the best two practices before this game, and so I knew that I had to set the tempo, and it kind of just started to feel right. I mean Sierra Michaelis, she (had eight) out of the first 13 points of the game — she was feeling it.

"So I was getting her the ball, and then I started feeling it. She was just dishing it right back. It was a team effort. Our other teammates did a great job battling for rebounds and then kicking it out for us to knock down shots."

SA: What was your highest scoring game at any level before Saturday?

SC: "Just 32 in high school, so I kind of set a new personal record last night for myself as well." (Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Missouri)

SA: Do you feel like this performance takes any pressure off of you as a freshman or do you feel like it adds pressure setting the bar that high for yourself?

SC: "When I'm out there I don't ever think about the pressure, even when I'm not on the court. Like I said I'm just out here trying to play ball, trying to win games for Mizzou. This year is going to be outstanding. We have very versatile players here. We have all the puzzle pieces we need and so if we can just put that puzzle together it's going to be a huge year for Mizzou women's basketball."

SA: What are your goals moving forward this season?

SC: "I don't really have any goals. I think every team's goal is to make it to the big dance, but we're taking one game at a time, one practice at a time. We're just trying to focus on tomorrow's game, so we're not looking too far ahead."

SA: What has your experience been like playing with your sister (Lindsey Cunningham)?

SC: "It's been awesome. Lindsey and I we grew up here, and we had one year together in high school and that's honestly been the best year of basketball I've ever played just because I got to experience it with her. But this year and this whole summer has been great, being with her and she's been showing me the ropes and what I need to do around here. There's nothing like playing with your sister.

"I mean I have 13 other sisters on the team besides her, but just because she's blood it's just so much more special. I mean our whole family came last night, and the whole community came just to support us. So I think it really is going to be a huge year for Mizzou."