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Mizzou Women’s Hoops bow out in WNIT first round

Mizzou Links for March 18, 2022.

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March Sadness :(

A season that once seemed so promising came to a sputtering end on Thursday night, matching the weeks-long slide that preceded it.

After a NCAA Tournament snub that left them playing for pride in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, Robin Pingeton’s Tigers quickly bowed out of postseason play, dropping their opening round game to the Drake Bulldogs 83-75 in overtime.

The Tigers (18-13) were led by Aijha Blackwell’s 27 points, including her basket that tied the score at 66-66 and forced overtime.

Blackwell added 10 rebounds for yet another double-double in the game. Hayley Frank endured a tough night, finishing with 11 points on 10 shots from the field, while freshman Izzy Higginbottom flashed a bit of brilliance, cashing in 14 on 9 shots in 31 minutes played. Higginbottom’s performance especially impressed our very own Lauren Rosenberg.

What I think the best part of Izzy’s performance tonight was it showed she’s not afraid to drive or pull up from the midrange. Normally, you’d expect a 5’7 player to stay mainly on the perimeter and sprinkle in a few drives here and there. Higginbottom showed there’s a whole other side of her skill set that was just waiting to make its debut.

On paper, next year’s team should contend for an NCAA bid and, in all honesty, probably expect to earn one. Pingeton’s team will only lose LaDazhia Williams to graduation (Haley Troup is exercising her Covid year), but should return Blackwell, Frank and Lauren Hansen for their final seasons. Higginbottom will be a sophomore and the Tigers will welcome 4-star freshman and local high school star Averi Kroenke to the program.

No doubt the team will be stinging all offseason after only collecting six wins through January, February and March. It’s up to Pingeton to get them motivated for a bounceback campaign.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Mizzou Football’s staff is getting a a little bigger and more experienced.
  • Positive football news is always good, but especially when you’ve got visitors in town. And I’m not just talking about JT Daniels.
  • Two sessions are down at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, and Mizzou has some catching up to do. The Tigers are sending seven wrestlers to the finals, but still sit in just 14th place as a team after day one.
  • Mizzou Women’s Swim and Dive has some brand new All Americans after the second day of the NCAA Championships!
  • Wanted to end links today by saying thanks to Lauren Rosenberg for covering the Mizzou women’s basketball team this season. It was a hell of a campaign to follow, from the shocking upset over South Carolina to the late season dramatics that led to a NCAA snub and early WNIT exit, and Lauren did it better than anyone I’ve known since I got to Rock M. Drop a “thank you” in the comments for them for upping our coverage here!
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