Missouri Women’s Basketball Head Coach Robin Pingeton talked about how she has belief that her team’s shots will eventually fall after a close 60-55 win over a lowly UT-Martin team, and that belief was fulfilled in the Tigers’ matchup against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in The Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship in The Bahamas. The Tigers shot 50% from the field and 36.8% from three-point range in their 69-47 rout over the Deacs.
In the Tigers’ search for consistency, they found their usual suspect, Hayley Frank, who had her best game of the season, shooting 8-13 from the field and 4-8 from beyond the arc, giving the senior a season-high 20 points. 14 of her 20 points came in the first half.
In the first half, the Tigers went on a 14-0 run, and Mizzou never looked back. They would hold the lead from the 1:39 mark in the first quarter all the way until the end of the game.
After the Tigers’ previous game, Coach Pingeton mentioned the difficulty graduate transfer point guard Katlyn Gilbert has had adjusting to the starting role after Mama Dembele’s injury against SEMO. Not only that, Gilbert hadn’t played consistently in several years, and is still getting back in game shape after giving birth to her son just seven months ago. Today, however, Gilbert showed exactly what she is capable of. Gilbert’s 11 points put her second in scoring on the night, and showcased herself as a reliable option for Pingeton to turn to.
Speaking of Dembele, despite recently getting surgery for a broken nose, she was (surprisingly) back today, sporting a clear face mask, and her impact was immediate. Dembele’s four assists were second on the team despite only playing 17 minutes, and her re-addition to the roster was welcome to Coach Pingeton, who had previously discussed the difficulties of managing a smaller roster rotation.
Pre-season, one of the biggest discussion points about the Tigers was how they were going to acclimate to losing a lot of their rebounding in the offseason, but the Tigers clearly have not been fazed by as this game was the fifth straight tilt where they outrebounded their opponent.
Defensively, after a poor showing against UT-Martin, the Tigers responded in a big way, holding the Deacons to a season-low 28.8% from the field and a season-low in points (47). Missouri also all but smothered the ACC’s leading scorer from a year ago, Jewel Spear, courtesy of Dembele, who was stuck to her all night.
With the 22-point victory, the Tigers move to 6-0 on the season ahead of a big test against the no. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies, who just beat Kentucky 82-74 (and it really wasn’t that close). This will easily the toughest opponent the Tigers will face in the non-con. This game, and how the Tigers handle a team with a monstrous center (6’6 senior Elizabeth Kitley, 17.7ppg, 10.7rpg) and multiple double-digit scorers. The matchup will be a really good indicator as to whether Coach Pingeton’s team can make a run for the NCAA Tournament.
UP NEXT: A battle against the no. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies on Wednesday, November 23rd, at 12:30 PM CST on FloHoops. Listen online at MUTigers.com or in the app.
Team win @hayfrank43: 20 pts. | 8-13 fg. | 2 ast.@_sheh00ps: 11 pts. | 5-6 fg. | 5 ast. | 2 reb.@_jkk29: 9 pts. | 10 reb. | 2 ast.@haleytroup13: 9 pts. | 4-7 fg. | 1 ast.@laurenhansen_1: 7 pts. | 5 reb.@sarahlinthacum: 6 pts. | 2-3 fg.#MIZ pic.twitter.com/PLPUgcx6OB— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) November 22, 2022