If you were to tell most people that the person with zero points in the first half would end up being the leading scorer in the game, they would probably say it was either a low-scoring game or this person just exploded. The latter is true for Lauren Hansen, who unleashed 17 points all in the second half with 13 of those points coming in the third quarter, leading the Missouri Tigers to a 65-47 win over the Western Kentucky Lady Hilltoppers.
“I thought Lauren did what Lauren needs to do,” Head Coach Robin Pingeton said. “Everyone’s got a role and she’s a volume shooter and I am proud of her for how far she’s come.”
The game started off with 10 points coming from Haley Troup and Hayley Frank, as Frank built upon her outstanding form to start off the season. Troup started off especially well from beyond the arc in the first quarter, shooting 3-3 and accumulating 9 points as the Tigers raced to a 20-13 lead.
Western Kentucky found some open looks throughout the first half which permitted them to stay with the Tigers via long threes from Teresa Faustino. Faustino finished the game with 16 points off the bench.
“One of our biggest focuses at the half was to limit them from getting open shots,” Pingeton said. “I think we did a pretty good job of stopping those open looks from happening once we got a chance to regroup.”
The Tigers found themselves up 33-26 at the half with Frank leading the team in scoring with 12 points and Sara-Rose Smith leading the team in rebounds with 6.
“I am so happy for [Smith],” Pingeton said. “I can’t say I’m surprised [with her play] she has a great motor and she’s long.”
It seemed like more of the same was to come defensively from the Tigers after the opening of the second half when the Lady Toppers drained a wide-open three to cut the Tigers lead to four but that was as close as the game would get as Lauren Hansen took over. Hansen accumulated 13 of 17 points in a 17-2 run from the Tigers that ended with the Tigers holding a gargantuan 54-35 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Freshman Ashton Judd took over in the fourth quarter with an array of impressive dribble drives showing that she has assimilated very nicely into this roster. She is averaging 8.3ppg so far this season.
The Tigers rode their new-found momentum to a convincing 65-47 victory, more convincing than their SEC-foe Vanderbilt’s 82-71 win over the Hilltoppers.
Defensively, the Tigers continued their good run of form holding the Toppers to a season-low 36% from the field. The Tigers are now 4-0 and have one more game before they head to The Bahamas for a crucial stretch in the Baha Mar Hoops Classic.
UP NEXT: The Tigers take on UT-Martin at home on Wednesday, November 17th, at 7 PM CST.