Missouri women’s basketball defeats Alabama to secure a 3-0 start.

January 23, 2023

Trailing 11 points and with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter, Missouri women’s basketball responded to Kentucky’s offensive run with a 20-5 run of their own and went in with a lead after a three-time 6-foot-1 freshman Half time guard Ashton Judd. After the break, the Tigers increased their momentum, ultimately resulting in a 74-71 win in their SEC opener.

The Tigers were trailing 19-10 at the end of the first quarter; However, a layup by 5’2″ graduate guard Haley Troup with less than a minute of play helped the team recover. Execution in the offensive end picked up in the second quarter as several Tigers converted possession into points. After a 3 x 6-foot-1 senior forward Hayley Frank, Missouri, tied the score at 25 with 4:29 to go in the second period. For the rest of the half, the Tigers outplayed the Wildcats 29-11 and led 39-30.

In the second half, however, the Wildcats began to narrow the Tigers’ lead.

After the Wildcats capitalized on a 10-0 run, the Wildcats tied with 66 points and less than 3:30 left in the fourth game. With a midfield jumper and an additional 6 points from the free throw line to close out the game, Frank and the Tigers earned their fifth win over Kentucky in program history and their first win in the SEC game.

Frank led the scoring with 20 points and six boards, shooting 6 of 16 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the free throw line, scoring 20 or more points for the fourth time this season.

Five-foot-three senior guard Lauren Hansen added 18 points, six boards and two steals. Judd reached her career 100 point mark with 12 points on 50% shooting. Six-foot-tall junior guard Sara-Rose Smith snagged her 200th rebound of the season and grabbed seven boards against Kentucky.

In their next SEC game, Missouri made their way to play Auburn, where they used a 7-1 goal run in the final two minutes of the game to secure their second SEC win of the season.

With four draws and nine lead changes, Missouri limited their hosts to 20 points inside the color and let Auburn shoot just 17% from 3-point range. The Tigers added 28 points from the paint and in return shot 33% together from behind the arc.

The turning point of the game came late in the fourth quarter when Missouri had a 4-point lead over Auburn. 1.60m tall junior guard Mama Dembele pulled two defenders and passed the ball to Frank, who was positioned on top of the key who knocked down the shot. On the next possession, Judd delivered a three of his own from the corner to secure the 62-56 win over Auburn.

Frank again led the scoring charts and finished with 23 points – it was their second straight 20-point game and fifth of the season. She also scored her 1,300 with a current 1,338. career point. Katlyn Gilbert, a 5’7″ graduate guard, hit double digits with 14 points, 11 of which came in the third quarter and 6 of 10 shooting from the floor. She also grabbed four steals for the second game in a row.

Missouri is now 3-3 in the SEC after clinching a win over Alabama followed by losses to Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina. The Tigers are at and 14-5 overall and will continue their game Sunday against Tennessee with a 2 p.m. tipoff

Edited by Matt Guzman | [email protected]
Copy Edited by Lauren Courtney

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