Name a better way to kickstart the winter holiday season than a Mizzou women’s basketball in-season tournament win. I’ll wait.
The undefeated Tigers travelled to Bethlehem, Pa. for the Christmas City Classic where they beat the Columbia Lions on Saturday, and then went on to face the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in the championship game on Sunday on their home court. They were again victorious, and the Tigers now sit at 7-0.
Here are a few takeaways from the Classic.
- Lauren Hansen and Hayley Frank were absolute stars.
- In game one vs Columbia, Frank exploded onto the scene. Now it’s not a shock that she showed up and showed out. Mizzou fans all know she is a star. But this game was different. She finished with 29 points on 63% shooting and added eight rebounds. She also drained six threes.
- Sunday’s game against Lehigh was The Lauren Hansen Show. Prior to this game, Hansen’s career high in points was 24, set while still at Auburn. Not only did she surpass that career high, but she was a huge catalyst to Mizzou’s 36 point 2nd quarter explosion. She finished with 34 points and a season high five rebounds on 71% shooting. Also, she drained nine threes and is the first Tiger since Sophie Cunningham (2018-2019 season) to put up 30+ points. Pretty decent outing for Hansen.
2. When her shooting is off, the vet can dish.
Haley Troup’s shooting might not have been the absolute best, but that doesn’t mean she can’t impact the game in other ways.
Against Lehigh, she dished out a career high seven assists. The vet’s impact and leadership stems in all directions, and her passing game is just going to improve throughout the season.
3. Who says the shortest player on the team can’t secure rebounds?
Mama Dembele isn’t a primary shooter on the team. Her basketball IQ and finding the open teammate is her strong suit.
But against Lehigh, she proved she can do more than just pass the rock. Dembele grabbed seven rebounds, but the most impressive part was that three were on the offensive side. Opponents might not think to box out the shortest player on the court despite knowing you have to box out everyone.
Mama is showing her fierceness and ability to out-muscle taller defenders on the glass, another key component to her growing confidence on the court.
Congrats to the Christmas City Classic champions!
Next up for Robin Pingeton’s squad is Thursday’s home match up against SIUE on Dec. 2 at 7pm.