Mizzou women’s basketball is stuck in a losing skid. Could program change be coming?

Mizzou women’s basketball’s losing streak has hit 10 games.

In the Tigers’ penultimate game of the regular season and their 2023-24 season Mizzou Arena finale, Vanderbilt all but sealed Missouri’s status as the last-ranked team in the SEC Tournament, defeating MU 68-61 on Thursday evening in Columbia.

Here are three takeaways from the latest loss for Robin Pingeton’s team:

Slump hits 10 games

Missouri cut a 10-point deficit in the first half to one point at the break, and then held Vanderbilt scoreless for the final 4 minutes, 21 seconds of the third quarter to take its first lead, 48-47, since halfway through the first quarter.

The tide looked like it was changing, but the end result was the same as the nine games that came before it.

Missouri’s slump is now 10 games.

Vanderbilt turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter, but the Tigers only capitalized to the tune of 12 total points across the period.

The Commodores’ fourth-quarter rebuttal was far more effective, as they held MU scoreless for more than three minutes and forced three turnovers en route to restoring their double-digit advantage, which they rode to the end.

Ashton Judd led MU with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Hayley Frank scored 14 points and Mama Dembele added 11 more with seven assists in their final games at Mizzou Arena.

Tournament outlook

Missouri, which entered the game last in the SEC, is locked into a game on the first day of the SEC Tournament, with first-round games set for Wednesday in Greenville, South Carolina.

The Tigers hold the tiebreaker over Georgia, which faces LSU at home late Thursday, but MU will need to defeat Mississippi State on the road Sunday and hope for a UGA loss for any shot at taking the No. 13 seed in the tournament.

An opening-round game against Kentucky or Florida, both of which defeated Missouri during the regular season, are Missouri’s most likely opponents come Wednesday.

Last game at Mizzou Arena?

Mizzou held a pregame ceremony for seniors Frank, Dembele, Abby Feit and Micah Linthacum, who each were playing their final game at Mizzou Arena.

Might that also be the case for head coach Robin Pingeton?

With the loss, the Tigers are rooted at the bottom of the SEC, winless since Jan. 16 and one loss from posting their worst record in conference play since the 2011-12 season, Pingeton’s second at the helm.

Former Missouri athletic director Desireé Reed-Francois had said at the conclusion of last season’s campaign that Pingeton needed to get MU back to the NCAA Tournament or face termination.

The waters around Pingeton’s job security have muddied after Reed-Francois’ move to Arizona earlier this month.

The new AD, or interim athletic director Marcy Girton, will soon have a choice to make. Pingeton’s buyout at the end of this season is at least $233,000.

Missouri has not made the NCAA Tournament since the 2018-19 campaign. This is Pingeton’s 14th season in Columbia.

The Star has partnered with the Columbia Daily Tribune for coverage of Missouri Tigers athletics.