This past June, Cierra Porter announced she would medically retire from the Missouri women's basketball team due to an ongoing knee injury. It turns out that time away worked wonders for the injury and she felt capable to compete for the second half of her senior season.
"We are obviously very excited to welcome Cierra back," said head coach Robin Pingeton per release. "She has had a very successful three years here, she brings great experience and adds much needed depth to our post position. After allowing her knee to calm down and get some rest with some time away, Cierra started feeling pretty good again and wanted to see if she could make one last run at it."
Welcome back…. ???? pic.twitter.com/wt7oUGZnuo
— Robin Pingeton (@CoachPingeton) December 29, 2018
Porter's resume includes a spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2016, two-consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and she is currently ranked in the top ten in school history in three categories — she's seventh all-time in free throw percentage at 79 percent and career rebounding average at 7.0 rebounds per game, and ninth in free throws made in a season making 141 her sophomore year.
In her three years, Porter averaged 10.6 points and seven rebounds per contest and is currently four points shy of breaking 1,000 points.
Missouri is currently 10-3 coming out of the break. They host Arkansas State this afternoon in their last nonconference game of the season. Porter is set to be an active roster member. It is uncertain how long Porter has been active in practice and how much time she is expected to play.
Up until now, Missouri has used a more five-out approach, utilizing Sophie Cunningham and Amber Smith in mismatch situations on the interior due to their lack of size. Adding Porter opens up the floor and relieves a bit of strain on Cunningham and Smith both offensively and defensively.
The six-foot-four Porter brings an interior presence and scoring option the Tigers desperately needed headed into SEC play where they will face size night in and night out. With a healthy return, this helps put Missouri in a position to make their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.