Mizzou in Review: 10 moments that defined a wild 2020-2021 Missouri sports season

Game-winning goal line stands and record-setting shooting nights were just a few of many memorable moments in a collegiate sports season unlike any other.

In a collegiate sports year unlike any other, Missouri’s athletic programs left fans with many unforgettable moments.

From a wild goal line stand to a program-defining top-10 win and memorable home run, these are just 10 of the many moments that Missouri sports fans will remember for years to come.

Missouri football’s last-minute goal line stand seals upset win against LSU

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When the SEC scheduled both Alabama and LSU as Missouri’s conference crossover opponents, many outside coach Eli Drinkwitz’s program believed the Tigers were in for two guaranteed losses. While Missouri fell victim to the Crimson Tide, the eventual national champions, they pulled off a shocking upset against the Tigers from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Up 45-41, the game came down to four consecutive stops at the 1-yard line in the final seconds. On fourth down, safety Joshuah Bledsoe batted down a pass intended for LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., and the Tigers celebrated an early statement win of the Drinkwitz era.

Missouri fans witness college football history at Faurot Field

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Those at Faurot Field to take in Missouri’s 41-0 win against Vanderbilt in late November also happened to witness history after senior kicker Sarah Fuller became the first female to suit up and play in a Power 5 college football game.

The Commodores called upon the soccer team's star goalkeeper after a majority of its kickers had to quarantine due to COVID-19. Fuller never attempted a field goal as the Tigers shut out Vanderbilt, but she did make history with a squib kick to open the second half.

Fuller went on to make a field goal in the Commodore’s next game against Tennessee, but she first entered the books in Columbia.

Mitchell Smith’s clutch block helps Missouri men’s basketball clinch top-10 win against Alabama

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Senior forward Mitchell Smith’s block served as the climax of the 2020-21 Missouri men’s basketball campaign, and what a climax it was.

As Alabama senior forward Herbert “Herb” Jones caught the ball on the block, he pump faked to shake senior guard Dru Smith. When he got the shot up, Mitchell Smith stood in perfect position to swat the ball off the backboard, which secured the Tigers’ third top-10 victory of the season.

While the moment will be remembered for years as the Tigers vaulted into the AP Top-10 for the first time since 2012, the buildup to the block foretold what the remainder of the season entailed for Missouri. Coach Cuonzo Martin’s team went 3-7 to close the year.

Missouri men’s basketball goes undefeated in non-conference play

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Missouri men’s basketball dispelled talk of being an SEC bottom feeder early in the 2020-21 season with an undefeated non-conference slate, which included five victories against March Madness-caliber teams and two ranked wins.

After knocking off No. 21 Oregon in a wire-to-wire outing, the Tigers bested No. 6 Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights game for a third consecutive year. The early wins propelled the veteran squad into the AP Top 25, where they remained until late February.

Missouri women’s basketball sets a program record in hot shooting night against Florida

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On senior day at Mizzou Arena, Missouri women’s basketball (9-13, 5-9 SEC) exploded for 18 3-pointers in 28 attempts against the Florida Gators.

Seniors forward Shannon Dufficy and guard Shug Dickson went a combined 8-10 from beyond the arc, and the Tigers, who just couldn’t miss, cruised to a 96-80 victory –– their first home SEC win of the season.

Missouri Gymnastics finishes a program-best sixth in the SEC

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After an up-and-down season, Missouri gymnastics earned the final spot in the conference championships and finished in sixth place, a new program high.

Just two weeks after posting the second-best beam score in program history, the Tigers totalled 196.125 for a season-high and their highest ever team score at the SEC championships.

Sophomore Sienna Schreiber picked up a 9.925 on the beam, good for the best score of the entire first session of the meet, and tied for fifth on the event.

Missouri soccer coach Bryan Blitz reaches 250 wins and retires after 25 years with the program

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As Missouri soccer’s season came to a close, and after posting a record of 6-5-3, head coach Bryan Blitz stepped down from his role.

Blitz, the program’s first, and only, head coach, wrapped up his head coaching career just short of 254 wins at MU. The coach cited his desire to spend more time with his family as his primary reasoning.

As the only NCAA soccer coach in MU’s history, the team will look to fill a massive hole in the heart of the program.

Missouri wrestling wins the MAC (again) and rejoins the Big 12

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Missouri wrestling won its ninth straight MAC championship to cap off a perfect 10-0 regular season.

During the championship, the Tigers set a new MAC team score record of 188.5 points, while head coach Brian Smith took home MAC co-coach of the year. After finishing seventh in the NCAA championships, freshmen Keegan O’Toole, Rocky Elam and junior Brock Mauller were named All-Americans.

The team surprised fans at the end of the season after it announced its decision to rejoin the Big 12 next year. With plenty of young talent, there is ample room for growth, especially for a team whose next goal is to bring the Big 12 title back to Columbia.

Missouri softball senior Katherine Kadlec launches game-ending single for her first collegiate hit

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Redshirt junior bullpen catcher Katherine Kadlec stepped to the plate in an early-season matchup against Middle Tennessee State without ever recording a collegiate hit. Then, coach Larissa Anderson sent her to the plate, and she hit a walkoff single to earn a run-rule victory for the Tigers.

Kadlec’s hit further cemented a family legacy at MU, as her grandfather was ‘Mr. Mizzou’ John Kadlec, who was involved with the football program –– as both a coach and broadcaster –– for nearly two decades.

MBSAA hosts #Mizzou4Change march to call for racial justice

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The Mizzou Black Student Athlete Association hosted a march for racial justice on the evening of Sept. 3, 2020. Hundreds of students joined the athlete-led march and witnessed powerful testimony from Missouri athletes who shared their experiences.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in all-black attire and sat in Memorial Stadium to pay tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin and many more.

Edited by Nicholas Chen | nchen@themaneater.com

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