Last year’s contest between Mizzou and Missouri State women’s basketball wasn’t very close. The Tigers handled the Bears 68-51.
While both teams are different this season, the result was almost the same.
The home team put together a complete performance on Wednesday night, as they rolled to an 81-63 victory over their in-state foes.
“I felt like it was a good team effort,” head coach Robin Pingeton said after the game.
The evening started on a relatively surprising note, as Mama Dembele kicked off the scoring with just her fifth three-pointer of the season. Hannah Linthacum picked up where she left off on Saturday, as the freshman picked up four quick points.
Towards the end of the quarter, Ashton Judd found a rhythm, scoring seven straight points. With Missouri State struggling to generate open looks on offense, Linthacum and Judd’s cornucopia of buckets paved the way for a 13-2 scoring run. The Tigers led 22-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Missouri State flipped momentum to start the second quarter, as they were finally able to get off clean jumpers. The Bears cut the lead to just five with 4:46 left in the quarter, but an Abbey Schreacke three stopped the bleeding. The triple also catalyzed a 12-4 run that saw Mizzou convert in transition a handful of times en route to a 40-29 halftime lead.
Mizzou spread the sugar on offense in the first half, as all nine Tigers that played scored at least one basket.
The Tigers kept the stellar scoring going into the third frame. Screening actions opened up Judd and Hayley Frank for long-range jumpers to start the quarter. Frank also continued finding success in the paint, as Dembele would find her in the post being guarded by a smaller defender. Even when she didn’t get the ball, her presence in the post proved strong.
Near the end of the quarter, Frank was on the right block, and Grace Slaughter was in the right corner. Frank had a mismatch, and Slaughter’s defender saw it, so she came to help in the post. The only issue for MSU was that Slaughter was wide open; Hilke Feldrappe saw her, swung the rock to the corner, and Slaughter knocked down the three.
Feit also found paydirt in the post, and she entailed the impact of the above scenario regarding herself after the game.
“I’m drawing attention that opens up my other teammates,” she said.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Dembele had a pair of steal-and-scores, including an and-one. The Bears struggled to connect on jumpers, Mizzou’s bench was emptied, and the final buzzer sounded amidst cheers from the Mizzou Arena crowd. Mizzou 81, Missouri State 63.
Judd led the way in points and rebounds with 20 and 10, respectively. Dembele was two rebounds away from a triple-double, as the senior finished with 10 points, eight boards and 12 assists. She also registered three steals.
“I feel like I have to set the tone on defense. Everyone looks up to me, so that’s something I really take pride in,” Dembele said. “On offense, I don’t really care who scores. I just want to help the team.”
Abby Feit finished with a season-high 13 points.
“Mama always throws great passes,” Feit said. “I was just on the receiving end of a lot of those.”
The Tigers also committed a season-low 13 turnovers.
Missouri will travel to St. Joseph, Mo. on Saturday to take on No. 13 Kansas State (7-1) in their first ranked matchup of the season.